LOUISE PENNY’S

CULTURAL INSPIRATIONS FROM THREE PINES: THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY

CULTURAL INSPIRATIONS FROM THREE PINES: THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY

“Some malady is coming upon us,” Gamache quoted under his breath. “We wait. We wait.” (The Beautiful Mystery, Page 110, Trade Paperback Edition)

Murder In The CathedralGamache’s quote above, as he points out, is a direct line from T.S. Eliot’s play, Murder in the Cathedral, and he repeats it in Louise’s eighth novel when confronted by an ominous plaque that may hold a clue to murder. Eliot’s play is a perfect reference as Gamache has come to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups to investigate a homicide.

Murder in the Cathedral, as Gamache tells the reader, details the assassination of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Becket, who had a long running feud with King Henry II over the rights of the Church verse those of the Royal Government, was bludgeoned and hacked to death in 1170 in Canterbury Cathedral by way of the King’s command. Becket was later canonized as Saint Thomas and today is regarded as the “protector of the secular clergy.”

Thomas Becket 300x300 1T.S. Eliot, who was also a big inspiration on The Cruelest Month, dramatized Becket’s story in 1935. Rather than betray his conscience, Becket chose martyrdom, and, knowing Louise, she specifically chose the story of Saint Thomas to illustrate her ongoing theme of morals: right versus wrong, principles, and, of course, the conscience itself.

“Gamache sat up in bed. He knew only two things could give a killer a good night’s sleep. If he had no conscience. Or if had a conscience, and that conscience had been an accomplice.” (The Beautiful Mystery, Page 106)

“You’re willing to throw the abbot to the wolves, you just don’t want it on your conscience. Instead you imply, suggest. You all but wink at us. But you don’t have the guts to stand up and say what you really believe.” (Page 230)

“Gamache had seen decent young Sûreté officers turned into cynical, vicious, strutting thugs. Young men and women with little conscience and big guns.” (page 294)

Discussion on “CULTURAL INSPIRATIONS FROM THREE PINES: THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY”

I listen to Audio books because my travel is so far to go to work daily. My librarian suggested audio books and she orders what she wants. Oh, my I haven’t felt more nor learned more, this series has not only kept my listening to the edge of the sit but also my mind. This book series is the best I have ever experienced. I thank you. Your talent and writing is amazing. I am just
on Gregorian chant away from ecstasy.

I just re read A Beautiful Mystery because I was missing Gamache et al and couldn’t wait for Glass Houses. It’s even better the second time. The life in the monastery, the personal questions of faith, the chants, the light…I couldn’t read quickly enough or slowly enough. I suspect you all know what I mean.
I found Louise Penny after surgery in 2013. I devoured all of them in order. I never do that! I get tired of an author or a recurring character and have to find other books to read before I can come back. Not with Louise and Gamache.
It’s August 29th and I can download Glass Houses from Audible. I’m so excited!
My plan is start at Still Life again after Glass Houses.
Thank you all for your insights.

Yes, I have to agree with most of the comments; this has been my favorite, and I’ve read all of Louise’s books. There was so much pain and heartbreak in this book that at times I had to put it down and rest in the feelings. And, of course, learning about the Gregorian chants was so interesting as well.

CBC adaptation was appalling. After waiting in anticipation I wa bitterly disappointed. I agree with other comments-let Louise’s gifted writing stand on its own.

I discovered Louise through book club. Still Life was a book club kit our group got. When we finished, I checked to see if she had written anything else and there were others! So exciting. So, I was lucky to read them from the beginning. Told her this when she came to Minneapolis. I also participated in the re-read several years ago and was amazed by how much more I got out of the books by re-reading them. My mission now is to find and buy the earlier ones. I did start purchasing them, but I got the earlier ones from the library. Can’t always be sure the library will continue to have them when the urge to re-read hits. I’ve never seen one of her books in a used book store. I think people hold on to them and savor them. Waiting not so patiently for Amazon to show up with her new one!

I am re reading this wondrous series, this time in the order written. I am savoring each one. I must confess that I fall a bit more in love with Gamache (9 (and all the characters ) with each page.
They are with out a doubt my favorite novels.
Louise, please don’t ever stop writing about our friends in Three Pines.

I am re reading this wondrous series, this time in the order written. I am savoring each one. I must confess that I fall a bit more in love with Gamache (9 (and all the characters ) with each page.
They are with out a doubt my favorite novels.
Louise, please don’t ever stop writing about our friends in Three Pines.

I have started rereading all of her books before the glass house comes out in August. I am on the 4 th book, lots more to go.

I am totally addicted to Louise Penny books. I’ve read all of them, some twice, and am waiting impatiently for her next book, due out Aug 29, 2017. And I’m going to go to her reading and signing in Santa Cruz, CA on Aug 30! My only complaint is that Louise has spoiled me for any other author! I am a reading and always have several books going at one time (both fiction and non-fiction). But I am stopped cold by ANY Louise Penny/Three Pines book. Please, Louise, keep them coming! (But do NOT make a movie of any of them….the only one made, I think, was such a disappointment.)

I am so pleased that someone else agreed with me about the movie…it was a disaster. I have re-read the series in order several times and there is always something new to discover, a new facet of personality, simple clue missed landscape anomaly. The only other books I read with such devotion are Jane Austen, C S Lewis and The Bible.

I am so pleased that someone else agreed with me about the movie…it was a disaster. I have re-read the series in order several times and there is always something new to discover, a new facet of personality, simple clue missed landscape anomaly. The only other books I read with such devotion are Jane Austen, C S Lewis and The Bible.

This was the first book I purchased and I was about 50 pages in when I mentioned it to a friend. She said STOP! You must start from the beginning. I laughed and said I’d finish this first and if I liked it would get the first in the series, Still Life. Later that day, another friend asked me what I was reading. She had the same reaction. So I put the book away and ran out to get Still Life. I was hooked and so grateful for the advice to start at the beginning and savor every page of each book. I have never been transported in such a way by any other author. Louise Penny is a gift.

When I finished the Cruelest Month, I was convinced Armand was leaving the Suretee. But, he’s back in the next book. Can someone tell me what I missed?

My fiancée and I are doing our own “inspirations for Three Pines” tour – by bike. We spent a lovely morning at Abbeye St. Benoit du Lac. Lovely place and I am so glad we visited. It would not have been on our radar were it not for Ms. Penny’s book.

I loved this book, though it left me feeling unsettled and wanting the next one. I’ve read all the books in this series, and love them. Louise Penny deals with complex relationships, while creating wonderful settings and investigating questions of good versus evil. And all the while describing wonderful food and drink. I’d love to spend time at the B&B and eat at the bistro!

All of these comments are making me to want to re-read this particular book once again….it was not my favorite and the comments make me feel as though I missed out on something….thank you….

The Few. The Proud. The Monks.
Those words brought a smile to my lips, but the story brought pain and anguish to my heart. Probably my favorite Gamache book because it evoked such a strong, emotional response from me.

I, too, became instantaneously hooked on Louise’s writing, Three Pines, and her superbly developed characters who have become “friends”! I, like others, have made myself wait to read the next book so I don’t finish them all too quickly — they are a gift I give myself! THANK YOU, Louise!!!! I’d love to meet you sometime!

I’ve read all of Louise’s books, beginning with Still Life and have loved every one. But, being a music person (church organist), this book really moved me. I could almost hear the music as I read. That was when it came out – time to re-read it.

Comments Page 1 of 2
1 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Skip to content