The Long Way Home (Book 10)
Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he’d only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in Gilead, in his large hands. “There is a balm in Gilead,” his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, “to make the wounded whole.”
While Gamache doesn’t talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache’s help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. “There’s power enough in Heaven,” he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, “to cure a sin-sick soul.” And then he gets up. And joins her.
Together with his former second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and Myrna Landers, they journey deeper and deeper into Québec. And deeper and deeper into the soul of Peter Morrow. A man so desperate to recapture his fame as an artist, he would sell that soul. And may have. The journey takes them further and further from Three Pines, to the very mouth of the great St. Lawrence river. To an area so desolate, so damned, the first mariners called it The land God gave to Cain. And there they discover the terrible damage done by a sin-sick soul.
Cultural Reference Discussion
Join us in a discussion around a creative work of cultural significance from this book.
Gamache kept his large hand splayed over the cover of the book, forcing it shut as though trapping the story inside.
Then he lifted his hand and showed it to [Clara], but when she reached out for it, Gamache drew it back. Not far, barely noticeable. But far enough.
“The Balm in Gilead,” she read the title, and searched her memory. “There’s a book called Gilead. I read it a few years ago. By Marilynne Robinson. Won the Pulitzer.”
“Not the same,” Gamache assured her. . . .
The Nature of the Feast ArchiveIn 2016, we cooked our way through the Inspector Gamache series. Every two weeks we posted a recipe from the world of Three Pines and opened a discussion around that recipe. The archive of the recipe and discussion can be found in The Nature of the Feast Archive page.
The Real Place ArchiveIn 2015, we (virtually) visited some of the real places that inspired Louise Penny in writing the Inspector Gamache series. Every two weeks we posted a new essay, photos, and opened a discussion about a real place that is the inspiration behind a fictional place in each of the books. The archive of the place and discussion for THE LONG WAY HOME can be found in The Real Place Archive page.
The Re-Read Archive
In 2014, we hosted a re-read of the Inspector Gamache series, books 1–10, guided by questions from longtime Gamache fans and guest bloggers. We have an ongoing discussion currently underway in The Bistro, and you can find the archive of the re-read for THE LONG WAY HOME in The Re-Read Archive pages, which includes a video from Louise.