Postcards from Three Pines: The Long Way Home

The Long Way Home Postcard
“Venturing outside of Three Pines for the new one. St. Lawrence River is such a presence here in Quebec. Almost mythic, I want to explore the idea of the characters on an odyssey of sorts - and what better way than using the river as an allegory. Fingers crossed I do it justice.”

Their first port of call along the coast was Anticosti Island, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

“Says here,” said Clara, reading from a guidebook she found in the passenger lounge, “that there’ve been four hundred shipwrecks off Anticosti.”

“Oh really,” said Jean-Guy, folding his arms across his chest. “Tell me more.”

“Apparently it’s known as the cemetery of the Gulf,” she said.

“I was being sarcastic,” said Beauvoir.

“I know,” said Clara. “But at least we now know what that pilot meant when he said the big challenge for the ship was the Graves. We get it behind us early.”

“This isn’t the Graves,” said Gamache. He got up from the arborite table in the lounge and walked to the windows. Through the dirty streaks he could see the island approaching. It was huge and almost completely uninhabited. By humans.

The only settlement was Port-Menier, where fewer than three hundred people lived. But the waters teemed with huge salmon and trout and seals. And the forests were full of deer and moose and grouse.

Gamache stepped through the door to the deck, followed by Clara, Myrna, Jean-Guy, and Marcel Chartrand. The air was cooler than in Baie- Saint- Paul. Fresher. A mist hung over the forest and crept onto the river, softening the line between land and water and air.

It felt as though they were approaching the past. A primordial forest so lush and green and unspoiled it could not possibly exist in the age of space travel, cell phones, Botox.

The only signs of habitation were the light house and the row of
bright wooden homes along the shore.

“What’s that?” asked Clara.

“What?” asked Chartrand.

“That.” Clara cocked her head to one side and pointed into the air. Applause. Clapping.

She scanned the shore. Perhaps it was a tradition. Perhaps when the supply ship arrived, the residents came out and applauded. She would. But that wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t quite human.

“It’s the trees,” said Chartrand. He guided her gently around until Clara was looking away from the harbor, toward the forest.

“They’re happy to see us,” he said quietly.

Discussion on “Postcards from Three Pines: The Long Way Home

  1. Ann Moore says:

    I listened to this novel in audio form while really sick with the flu. It certainly gave me an etherial experience, and a soothing one while my body took time to heal.

  2. Ann Elliott says:

    I love the post cards and the memories they bring but I also like reading the comments.

  3. pat cipolla says:

    Never knew about Charlevoix until this book Made it a point to visit the towns along the river a trip I treasure and will remember forever.

  4. Lillian Christie says:

    I absolutely loved this book and loved the wonderful writing about the magical Quebec. I live in Ontario but at every opportunity travel to Quebec. Your books have been a wonderful addition to what I have learned about Quebec, as well, of course, as being part of the most well written thoughtful mystery books ever. Am looking forward to your latest book!

  5. Sara McLain says:

    I just finished last night my 6th reading of this book. I just needed to get away from the stresses of my own life and thought getting on a boat down the St Laurence would just do the trick. It did. It carried me away. It caused me to ponder the pain of other people. It taught me that life is short and precarious. I always learn something new in each re-reading. In this reading, I learned that true friends will help me, if I really ask them.

  6. Stephanie Levine says:

    Delightful postcard, message and reading Makes me want to read it again. Waiting impatiently for Kingdom of the Blind.

  7. Dorothy S says:

    Your words are food for my soul Louise!

  8. Orion Baker says:

    Thanks so much for this incredible journey. It is sad but the story is riveting. I read it twice and now with memory being what it is, it is time for another read
    I am eagerly Awaiting your latest. Thank you so much for making my reading time so enjoyable

  9. Orion Baker says:

    Thanks Louise what a great story. I found it both sad and beautiful
    I will have to read it for the third time. My memory is not what it was
    I do love Peter’s and Clara’s characters.

  10. Dixie Belle says:

    That book was indeed A Long Way Home !!! – Been a while since I read it – So I have forgotten the way -But if/when I read it again, Your book will lead me there – lol –

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