Postcards from Three Pines: Still Life

Still Life Postcard
“Here in Quebec. Finally started writing. I think I’ll call it STILL LIFE. What do you think? Struggling a bit with fear but inspired by the fall colours. ”
AN EXCERPT FROM STILL LIFE

Three Pines wasn’t on any tourist map, being too far off any main or even secondary road. Like Narnia, it was generally found unexpectedly and with a degree of surprise that such an elderly village should have been hiding in this valley all along. Anyone fortunate enough to find it once usually found their way back. And Thanksgiving, in early October, was the perfect time. The weather was usually crisp and clear, the summer scents of old garden roses and phlox were replaced by musky autumn leaves, woodsmoke and roast turkey.

Three huge pine trees faced [Gamache] at the far end of the green. Between him and them was a pond, a bunch of sweater-clad children circling it, hunting for frogs, he supposed. The village green sat, not surprisingly, in the center of the village, a road called The Commons circling it with homes, except behind him, which seemed to be the commercial district. It was a very short commercial. It consisted, as far as Gamache could see, of a depanneur whose Pepsi sign read ‘Beliveau’. Beside that was a boulangerie, the Bistro and a bookstore. Four roads led off The Commons, like the spokes of a wheel, or the directions of a compass.

As he sat quietly and let the village happen around him he was impressed by how beautiful it was, these old homes facing the green, with their mature perennial gardens and trees. By how natural everything looked, undesigned. And the pall of grief that settled on this little community was worn with dignity and sadness and a certain familiarity. This village was old, and you don’t get to be old without knowing grief. And loss.

Discussion on “Postcards from Three Pines: Still Life

  1. Pat says:

    What a joy to go back to the beginning, and see pictures that represent all that we now know and love!

  2. Sue says:

    I need to visit again soon!!!!
    Can hardly wait until November.

  3. Carolyn says:

    Love this excerpt. It shows one of the reasons I came to treasure these books. Now, off to the bistro.

  4. Linda Christensen says:

    What a wonderful idea! Loved your writing from the get go and am dreaming of finding a Three Pines some day :-)

  5. Kathleen Sullivan says:

    I am a city girl but enjoy my mind journeys to Three Pines.

  6. Ramona Tarkington-Deal says:

    I found Three Pines many years ago and while I have to periodically leave, my heart is a permanent resident.

  7. Stephanie says:

    Going to be 90 degrees today in Atlanta, GA, so this description of Three Pines in October is just what I needed!

  8. Wendy McPhee says:

    Peaceful sigh….

  9. Faith says:

    So beautifully described, I grew up just south of the Canadian border in Alburgh Spgs Vt. I too can see smell and taste it! I miss the Northeast so much! Thank you for bringing it alive for me!

  10. Francoise Ipton says:

    The description of the village makes me want to find a place like it. I am from the province and miss Fall the most with the colors and the smells I remember so well.

  11. Shirley Lewchuk says:

    Perfectly beautiful.

  12. Jan says:

    Peaceful, comforting, familiar. The place enfolds one in a calm for the heart and soul.

  13. Phyllis Ogis says:

    I’m also rereading the series. Just a quick comment about the TV production. Although I’m a huge fan of Nathaniel Parker I was disappointed that Gamache was not played by a Canadian actor, preferably a Québécois. Just saying!
    Love your insights into our Canadian character. I heard you speak inVancouver several years ago. You have a way of making one feel you are a personal friend. ❤️

  14. Kristine says:

    I do want to move to Three Pines, despite the fact that new comers are often either murdered or the murdered. I can’t wait to visit again!

  15. Alyce Perry says:

    As always, thank you Louise for bringing us back “home” to Three Pines! Looking forward to November 27th.

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