Gamache Series Open Discussion

Join us here in The Bistro for a discussion on the entire Gamache series. Feel free to ask or answer any questions about any of the books or the series as a whole.

Paul Hochman

Discussion on “Gamache Series Open Discussion

  1. Anna says:

    Not sont reversal! Somewhat controversial!!

  2. Anna says:

    Thank you Julie for sharing about your step daughter. What a difficult life she had but then she found you. I am sure she valued your relationship.

    Relationships are at the heart of our worlds and I think that is why we love Louise, writing stories in which relationships are important resonates with us.

    I think Julie you do have a story to write but it will appear when you are ready.

    • Millie says:

      Relationships… Yes. To quote David Baldacci in one of his books, “Family. It just doesn’t get any more complicated than that!”

      Julie, I also believe there’s a ‘story’ in you. Just like I believe there’s a ‘story’ in everyone. Just some people aren’t comfortable telling their story. And that’s OK, too.

      I’m glad to hear you are finally able to talk about your step daughter. That nugget was a beautiful story in and of itself. I’m sure everyone felt your joy and your loss. Please keep writing to us at least. You DO have things to say that enrich our lives.

  3. Millie says:

    Now, we were speculating about nature, beasts, Ruth and Clara. And possibly even Bean? I don’t think I’ve ever smelled honeysuckle… Sounds like a road trip to our big garden shop is in order.

  4. Millie says:

    Anna, finally had time to really look at the site on visual-spacial you recommended on the previous page.
    Why is this still controversial when 60% of students learn better through V/S? I think I learned to spell because my daily homework as a child included writing out the new words X number of times and then use those words in a sentence. I couldn’t take that single word and compose a sentence. My mom could instantly come up with one. But I learned if I wanted to remember something I had to write it out. Once I ‘saw it’, wrote it, no problem.

    When I took the quiz, my jaw dropped. My elder son and I are 100% V/S learners. Even down to no concept of time! But then I went rooting around the other links and saw an article about “women who feel like imposters”… For me, not so much with relationships but the other way around. “Who am I to think I could… just name it. I don’t have a degree in…” I don’t know how many times I actually even used that phrase when talking with my husband, “I feel like an imposter…” Especially when someone would say, “What would you know, your just a housewife…” I’d try to make light of it by telling myself, my husband and sons that I wasn’t ‘just’ a housewife, I was a fountain of useless information. About 10 years ago, while our sons were still living at home, they were watching me intently as I opened one of my Christmas gifts. It was a book titled “The Book of Totally Useless Information”. They all let out their breath when I held it up roaring with laughter and they hugged me and said how relieved they were I took it as intended and not a put-down…
    Again, this speaks so strongly to ‘sense of identity’. Thank you! Like Julie, I too seem I find out so much about myself at The Bistro.

  5. Millie says:

    Jan! Read this from one of the subpages of Anna’s link. It speaks so eloquently to what you were saying: finding kinder ways of being! Even ‘balm’ and ‘nature’ are used!

    Leonard Shlain suggests that humanity has had an unhealthy domination of left hemispheric values for the last 5,000 years, which has left in its wake the subjugation of the feminine to the masculine. But he sees us moving toward greater appreciation of right hemispheric values, greater collaboration between our right and left hemispheres, egalitarianism, and celebration of the wonderful diversity in the world.

    “I am convinced we are entering a new Golden Age—one in which the right-hemispheric values of tolerance, caring, and respect for nature will begin to ameliorate the conditions that have prevailed for the too-long period during which left-hemispheric values were dominant. Images, of any kind, are the balm bringing about this worldwide healing. (Shlain, 1998, p. 432)

    From Silverman, L. K. (2002). Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner. Denver: DeLeon.

  6. Anna says:

    There is controversy about whether “learning styles” exist and if there is a benefit to teaching to those styles. Schools tend to operate on auditory lines although that is changing in some places. I thought there might be a few who would relate to the work of Linda Silverman.

    Imposter syndrome is a whole other area.
    Have a look at Valerie Young’s “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women”
    It doesn’t just affect women by the way, but it has probably had a greater adverse impact on women for a variety of reasons.

  7. Anna says:

    I think Clara is very visual spatial, not becUse of her art per se, more the paint in the hair etc.

    • Julie says:

      I love the paint in her hair… and from several “throw-away” comments Louise has mentioned on Facebook, I think that’s one of Louise’s traits that has been given to Claire as her alter-ego. Maybe that means that Louise’s stories come to her in pictures, too?

  8. Jan says:

    Oops, my apologies Millie. j Just received feedback from my daughter that the link to Random Acts of Kindness video would not transfer for her. So goes the pitfall of being an Internet novice! Really sorry about this as I thought it would give you a lift of some sort. The gratitude is still there, however! :)

    • Julie says:

      There are lots of Youtube videos under the search “Random Acts of Kindness” – each and every one is uplifting to watch! :D

  9. Millie says:

    Jan, how wonderfully kind of you. The fact you thought of me and tried, means just as much to me as if the link had worked.

    I was the recipient and giver of a random act of kindness this week. My ‘handyman’ called Tuesday afternoon. He was in the area and was there anything he could help me with. I laughed and told him to come over.

    Cathryne, I took your advice! He hauled my book boxes out of hiding in the guest room and since they are marked by bookcase section and shelf, put them in front of the appropriate section. He got the all the books marked ‘top’ and up they went. He’s 6′ 3″ and didn’t need a step stool. I laughed and said, “Show off.” He laughed and said he liked I treated him like a son. He didn’t even charge me and told me he has down time when a job needs something to dry before continuing or waiting for others to finish their work before he can continue so he’d call when that happened and help me finish. I just gave him a hug! He really is a kind soul that is part of the team that works for the house restoration contractor who put my house in order after the flooding which started in the kitchen. So I’ve known him for years.

    Then, in one of the boxes I found another copy of a book I adore. It’s called, “The Thirteenth Tale” and thought of my 96 year old neighbor who loves to read and who was a bit rattled because a recently moved to the street neighbor more than 20 years younger than her had passed away the day before. So I called her up, asked if she had ever read it, took it over and spent a delightful hour with her.

    Told her not to be fearful but expect the best for herself. She’s healthy, has all her mental faculties and had Mike and me right across the street who cared about her… She has no family left and she knows hubby travels a lot so we watch out for each other. She’s my Ruth, without the foul (pun intended) language.

    The Thirteenth Tale is one of those rare books that leave one not wanting it to end because the characters and their complexity just grab one’s heart. Although it’s a stand alone, not a series, it is so engaging. It too has acts of kindness interspersed within a grand mystery and leaves one with a sense of hope at the end. First published in 2006, by Diane Setterfield. This is the prologue:

    “All children mythologize their birth. It is a universal trait. You want to know someone? Heart, mind and soul? Ask him to tell you about when he was born. What you get won’t be the truth; it will be a story. And nothing is more telling than a story.”

    • Barbara H. Johnson says:

      Mille, There is a stack of books on a table across from me. The Thirteenth Tale is one of them. I read it last week after it was in a list I saw. I am speechless. What are the odds ? I don’t consider myself to be superstitious but events like this have occurred all of my life. I do take it to be a sign. Thank You.

      • Anna says:

        Hi Barbara! Must have been typing at the same time! Don’t think superstition, think synchronicity. Hugs Barbara!!

      • Millie says:

        Oh Barbara, I’m so very glad you returned to the Bistro. I missed you. Like Anna, I believe in synchronicity also.

        Here’s another one. That term was coined in 1950 by Carl Jung. JAN was quoting him on the previous page.

        Did you like the story? I got all choked up at the end and (without giving away too much) I too ‘missed Ms Winters’ when the story ended.

        • Barbara H. Johnson says:

          Yes, I liked the book too. Like you said hated to see it end.
          I have been following the postings with great interest. Intriguing lines of thought. I did not know that Jung had coined “synchronicity”, although I studied his works, too.

        • Millie says:

          Forgot to give you a big, if virtual, hug, Barbara. And BTW, that kind of ‘out of no where but with perfect timing’ kind of thing happens to me a lot, too.

          The Thirteenth Tale spoke to me because all the major characters feel so alone at the start of the book. Yet they come to find out they aren’t!

          I think everyone feels they are the only ones experiencing their own sense of ‘aloneness’ or their particular experiences. But then magic happens (a synchronistic event) and we find out we aren’t ‘the only ones’ after all! Love you!

    • Julie says:

      Millie – how great that you remembered your books when the handyman called. Sometimes, I get such tunnelvision, that I wouldn’t think of that kind of “job” when someone like that called. I’d think, “nothing’s broken” and say there was nothing for him to do. I’m so happy you are that much closer to having your books back where you want them and can find them.

      And what a sweet gesture was taking the much-loved book to your neighbor. I love that quote at the beginning of the book, and thought to myself, that I don’t know what day of the week, etc. that I was born, nor the time of day, but then, as I thought – the story came to me… My older brother was 6 years old when I was born, and when my parents went to the hospital to have me, I guess my brother was left with my aunt, who has always been the very sould of kindness. She asked Jimmy what he wanted for lunch, and he said he wanted peanut butter and jam (what we call PB and J in Canada), but this time, he wanted the jam on first! She laughed and told that story for years, so of course, that has become MY story… brilliant!

  10. Anna says:

    Love Random Acts of Kindness. At my daughter’s school they have weeks where the students are secretly allocated another pupil and sometime during the week they perform an act of kindness for them.

    Up early watching ANZAC Dawn Services around the country. Very moving in the pre dawn darkness. My husband and daughter have gone to the local service where husband is guest of honour. I was not very well overnight so I am resting in the warm. We are attending the March and service later in the morning too so I will go to that.

    My Grandfather lost a foot at Gallipoli so thinking of him very much this morning.

  11. Anna says:

    This is the Benediction read at the end of each service.

    Go out into the world in peace. Be brave; keep hold of what is good. Never pay back wrong for wrong; encourage the faint hearted; Support the weak and distressed; give due honour to everyone. Be always joyful and give thanks whatever happens for this is what God wills for you. Amen.

    • Millie says:

      Absolutely beautiful. I just did a screen capture and ongoing to print it out and frame it!
      Thank you for sharing the Benediction, Anna. Feel better wishes going your way and may you enjoy the March and luncheon by your husband’s side. Deep calming breaths. Just imagine you are surrounded by all the love of the Three Piners. :-)

    • Barbara H. Johnson says:

      Anna, what a meaningful and lovely benediction. My English friend and I were talking about ANZAC Day on Monday. Tears filled her eyes as she told me how people from all over the Commonwealth joined in the war. She said the Australians and New Zealanders were so brave to enter the fray.
      I looked up a bit about today’s observance.
      Hope you feel better soon.

  12. Paul Hochman says:

    Brings to mind Eric Bogle’s “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”.

  13. Anna says:

    Thank you Millie and Barbara. I hope so too. It is a must to attend a service today as it is the hundredth anniversary. My family is thawing after the Dawn Service. There were around 2000 people at the local one. The town population is only ten thousand. The services are outdoors at local war memorials. Check you tube later as there will undoubtably be footage from the Gallipoli service. It doesn’t take place for another five hours but the crowd of ten thousand is already there having walked three kilometers in to the site. There are war widows there who were married to original Anzacs. Obviously they married younger women!

  14. Anna says:

    I think this is the 1000th comment so I will wave the flag.

    http://youtu.be/Q20DUaIzYJg

    A little patriotic but the footage of The War Memorial, the stained glass windows and the tomb of the Unknown soldier, are beautiful

    • Millie says:

      OMG! Aren’t we the chatty bunch! If any deserves to wave the flag it is you, Anna! You’ve kept the fires burning at the Bistro.
      Thank you again, Paul, for opening the Bistro for us.

    • Millie says:

      The stained glass made me think of the one at Three Pines…
      ANZAC day is ‘tomorrow’ for the Americas…
      I have a friend who has been busily crocheting red poppies for her local historical society’s celebration in New York.
      I pray that someday the entire world can sing as one, “He/She is one of them. He/She is one of us.”
      Just beautiful, Anna. Thank you.

  15. Barbara H. Johnson says:

    Anna, Chill bumps………how wonderful. I was reared in a patriotic family. After Mother died, I found letters where wives and mothers wrote her to tell of their sons and daughters in the military. Some are tear stained as mother learned of injuries and deaths. I remember the news broadcasts during WWII and watching Mother cry as she prayed for those in danger. What would mankind have accomplished by now if there had been no war in the 20th or 21st centuries.

    • Anna says:

      Really interesting question Barbara. I am going to ponder that one as I get ready for the next service. War is never wanted but it is interesting that a lot of medical and technological advancements that have been beneficial to all were born out of necessity in war. That is a paradox indeed.

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