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. Cathryne Spencer says:

    Anna, so glad you are safely home . I can’t believe how much you got done in such a short time. I hope you can rest in your kind-of-warm house, soon-to-be-cozy-again house. I’m trying to take your advice about enjoying the anticipation up to AGR’s release on Aug. 30th. Loved hearing from Louise about the starred review in Booklist. Second starred review!

    Julie, I loved reading about you designing fabric. You are brilliant to find such an exciting thing to do while you wait for your eyes to recover. I had no idea such things could be done. I really enjoyed the link to see what they look like. Amazing! “Such clever people in the Bistro,” indeed.

    Hope recent storms in the southeast have missed you, Barbara and Millie. How about your sister in Texas, Anna?

  2. Julie says:

    I have been watching the news with bated breath, as I have several friends in Texas, and of course, Bonnie seems to have threatened quite a few on the east coast, as well. Barbara and Millie – I do hope you are alright. Anna, I hope your sister isn’t too near all the flooding… I often think this is “the end of times” with this weather, and coming from someone not religious, that’s saying something! hahahaha

  3. Julie says:

    Had to drop back in to say that the next recipe is up in Nature of the Feast! French Onion Soup – one of my very favorite dishes! I will definitely be making this. Anna – while you’re so chilly, you should definitely give it a try.

  4. Anna says:

    I love French Onion soup and definitely will give it a go. My dad used to make it. So yummy. I made pork burgers tonight with a caramelised onion and apple relish. That worked well too.
    The heater is fixed…yaaaaaay. I am cosy and sleepy but having thoughts of my books long neglected. I am seeing developments for the first time in ages. A little break doesn’t hurt but I am very keen to get book two out.
    My sister has had a lot of rain in Dallas but was safe. She suspects the usual roads will be flooded. I do hope all we know are safe and well.
    Lovely to see you both Cathryne and Julie. Everything ok in your worlds Barbara and Millie and anyone we haven’t seen for a while?

  5. Cathryne Spencer says:

    Anna, I’m glad to hear you talking about your book. I’ve been wondering if you’ve had any time to work on it. I’m ready and anxious to read book 2!

  6. Anna says:

    Thanks Cathryne. I am sorry its a bit slow. I don’t know how Louise does it with everything on her plate!

  7. Julie says:

    Louise is a force of nature, I think. But also, a result of a lot of planning. While she and Michael first had the news of his prognosis, I think they made solid plans about how to handle things, got the help they needed, and it’s paid off. I have to hand it to her, though – getting up at dawn to write for a few hours every day until Michael wakes up would be very, VERY hard for me. Perhaps I could do it after he went to bed, then sleep in with him in the morning… either way, though, I think that being present for Michael in his days is very important to Louise, and having the new condo makes a big difference in that, as well, as I think lots of things (and people) are a lot closer. I am still in awe, though, at how she powers through and writes to a schedule with so much else to think and worry about.

    Never worry about keeping to anyone else’s schedule, though, Anna. You’ve got people needing you on both ends of the generational scale, and first things first, always… We can wait. But with great anticipation of book two!

  8. Anna says:

    I like to write at night. I have been waking well before dawn but my ideas don’t seem to flow at that hour. Thinking back, even as a child I wrote at night, crouched in the bedroom door scribbling in a square of light from the hall.
    I do admire Louise for all she achieves. It is so very inspiring as much as I am sure it is exhausting. Thank you for the words of encouragement Julie. It means a lot.

  9. Anna says:

    Thank you Julie, you just did!

  10. Millie says:

    Good morning Three Piners. As Louise posted on Facebook today, sorry for the silence. All’s well in Florida, no major rain in our area, more like sprinkles compared to a heavy summer storm. But life sure has gotten interesting, well downright crazy at times. Some fun things, some frustrating things, some sad things but all requiring unplanned changes.

    As was mentioned previously, I too marvel at how Louise pre planned and continues to adjust. But it’s hard to plan for what you don’t know is coming. Like a grown son moving back ‘home’ after an agonizing decision to get a divorce. The emotional aspects aside and on a personal level, this has brought a further need to revisit what I really ‘need’ to keep in order to make room for our son’s things. Thank goodness Julie posted a while back that one couldn’t really purge well in the first go around. That has given me great comfort.

    In other news, when I couldn’t see well I decided to finally listen to two books my sons had wanted me to read for years. The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Certainly not everyone’s cup of tea but I have enjoyed them. I resisted because it was a coming of age story (actually a trilogy and who knows when book three will come out) and a fantasy (talk about world building) but it’s so much more. Full of poetry, suspense, humor, characters one really cares about, depth and nuance. It’s been good for son and mom to take time away from the demands and stress of the day and spend time with a cup of tea discussing the story.

    Best wishes and positive thoughts to all as we await August 30th.

  11. Julie says:

    (((((Millie))))))))) (That’s a cyber-hug – wish I could give you a real one!) I’m so sorry to hear how challenging things have been for you lately. And of the agony your son is also going through – divorce is never easy, on anyone! I sometimes hear people making light of things like that – “you can always get a divorce”… I’ve never been through anything else that hurt more, and I’ve been through my share of physical pain and metal anguish. But the idea that something you had based your life on has shattered beyond repair requires much soul-searching and reflection, and sometimes, makes you sad for what seems forever. I wish him a recovery as speedy as possible, though nobody gets over it quickly, I think. I’m so pleased to know that you and he are having a “literary society” among yourselves, though. I think that goes a long way to heal things and to bring you closer.

    I am working on my third go-round on purging and know it still will not be enough, but I inted to keep at it. The writing is on the wall for my eyes – the macular degeneration seems to be progressing fairly aggressively. I can now “see” the blank spot in the middle of my vision. Thank heaven I was able to have the cataract surgery, as it will add a few years of stitching to my life – but I have enough patterns, kits, fabric and threads, to stitch for hundreds of years, I think, so am beginning to think about selling off some of the things I know I’ll never get around to. EBay or Etsy will be my friend for awhile, I think.

    On the daydream side, I found the apartment I want to live in! I have an acquaintance, who’s a member of my guild, and I’d heard that she was selling off some of her stash because she was going to downsize. This is such an elegant lady and her home is the one she “downsized” into when her kids left home – and not what I would call “small” at all! I can’t imagine where she lived before, but it must have been huge. So this was the second downsizing. In my latest guild roster, I got a new address for her, so I went online to see where the address was, thinking Google maps would tell me if she’d had to move far away… well, it brought up the real estate listing of her new condo. And it’s gorgeous! A huge pang of jealousy ran through me, I’m ashamed to say, but I started to read a bit more about the condo complex – and found that there are about 100 condos there, all of which have an amazing view of water and mountains. They are two or three-bedroom apartments, with large balconies (also called terraces, depending on what part of the world you live in). Several have sold recently, and I could see all the pictures of them all – and they’re all breathtaking! The rooms are spacious (not like any other areas of Seattle, where anything I could afford are tiny), the storage space is spacious, and they are affordable! We would have quite a bit of money left over after selling this house. Of course, I’ll never convince Vern it makes sense to leave a house with land to move into an apartment with HOA fees that will never go down and never go away. But to me, it makes a lot of sense. The grounds are beautiful, there are hiking trails around it, beautiful gardens, and that view! It spells stress-free living to me, but for now, it’s just for daydreaming. One day, Vern may very well realize that the stairs in this house, the yard work, the undone projects and upkeep are all too much for us… Then we could get ourselves on a waiting list for one of those condos, while once again, purging to downsize…

  12. Julie says:

    Paul Hochman – Messages are disappearing from the end of the list here. A few days ago, Millie wrote a reply, and I replied to her, but the next day that was gone, and now Millie’s message is gone (probably others, but I was worried that I’d hit the wrong key and intended to answer again today, so I came to look for it). I don’t know if we’ve hit our quota for number of messages and we need to delete some earlier ones? Or maybe start a new forum for “waiting in between books and talking”? What do you think, Paul?

  13. Anna says:

    Not sure what is happening but our posts are disappearing!

  14. Cathryne Spencer says:

    Yes, Anna, including Millie’s.
    Very glad to hear from you, Millie, I looked up the books that you mentioned and I want to ask my younger son if he has heard of them. They sound right up his alley.
    I, too, have enjoyed reading and talking about books with my sons over the years. It’s a great way to connect and has certainly led me places I had never been and might never have gone. My older son got me started on Gabriel Garcia Marquez, someone I might have continued to avoid. (Really? Magical Realism???). One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of my favorite books now.
    My younger son introduced me to Christopher Moore, a writer I would have missed. Thinking about The Stupidest Angel always makes me laugh. Another book I read on his recommendation was about computers, snow, dreams of unicorns… I don’t remember the name of the book or the author and I didn’t really understand what was going on, but that was useful too because it helped me to see how and why we are on different wave lengths sometimes!
    I hope no more posts disappear!

  15. Julie says:

    Yes, it’s been very disconcerting – glad to see new posts at any rate. I’ve asked Paul to look into it, so at least he will be able to either stop it or get us a new Bistro page or something.

    I had done one message to Millie, which disappeared, and then, right after that, Millie’s disappeared, and I think one of Anna’s. Don’t know how much else I might have missed… Anyway – it’s encouraging that Anna’s and Cathryne’s last messages are here. Maybe it’s already fixed – if so, thank you, Paul!

    As part of my message to Millie I had talked about what has fired my imagination a bit lately – you will remember that we talked (at least a year ago, probably more – time means nothing to me, hahaha) about “dream houses” – places we built as our “castles in the air”, where everything is as we would want it to be. I had said I wanted a pretty condo with a lovely view, that I would decorate in Art Deco. Well – I found it! It exists, it’s no more than three miles away from me, and it’s affordable! There are actually about 100 condos in a development – they’ve been around since 1974 and still look great – so they’re well built. The rooms are large and every one of them has a spectacular view of Lake Washington. They’re on a hillside, have lovely grounds and public places, and I’ve seen photos of quite a few of the interiors and they are so lovely! Most have chosen to decorate in all white, and photos taken on a sunny day featuring the view are absolutely stunning. They all have either 2 or 3 bedrooms, the rooms are very large, for condos. That’s amazing in Seattle, as downtown, all the condos that I could afford are teeny-tiny! I mean, if I were to spend $10 million, then, yes, I could get large rooms, and three bedrooms and a wonderful view of Puget Sound, but really…. the thing about these others is that I know that if we sold our house, we’d have money left over after we moved in. Of course, Vern won’t even think about it – he thinks there’s no value in a condo – here at our house we have land, and the fact that we’re not able to properly take care of it anymore doesn’t seem to enter into it for him. He doesn’t want to pay condo fees that will “always go up and never go away”, whereas I think that’s just akin to paying a landscape company to keep our yard in good shape, and a handyman to keep the house in good shape, which I’d have to do if I were in the house alone. Ah well – daydreams… I go and look at the pics from time to time and plan my renovations – “this one is nice, but I don’t want the washer/dryer in the kitchen – at least not where you can see them from the dining room”, “that one has so much balcony space, but if I could enclose most it, it would make the living room huge and still leave room for a little table and chairs outside,” “I love the fireplace in this one, but I’d change the flooring” – so fun to dream and doodle with the imaginary plans in my head, hahahaha.

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