Postcards from Three Pines: A Fatal Grace

A Fatal Grace Postcard
“Nice and warm in the house, but bitter cold outside, Merde! Now I have to write a second one. Setting it at Christmas. Pond freezing over- love to go out and skate but typing away by the fire. Actually really nice.”

As people arrived food was taken to the familiar kitchen and too many casseroles and pies were stuffed into the oven. Bowls overflowing with candied ginger and chocolate-covered cherries and sugar-encrusted fruit sat on the sideboard beside puddings and cakes and cookies. Little Rose Lévesque stared up at the bûche de Noël, the traditional Christmas log, made of rich cake and coated with the thickest of icing, her tiny, chubby fingers curling over the tablecloth embroidered with Santa Claus and reindeer and Christmas trees. In the living room Ruth and Peter made drinks, Ruth pouring her Scotch into what Peter knew to be a vase.

The lights on the tree glowed and the Vachon children sat beside it reading the tags on the mountain of brightly wrapped presents, looking for theirs. The fire was lit, as were a few of the guests. In the dining room the gate-legged table was open full and groaning with casseroles and tortières, homemade molasses-baked beans and maple-cured ham. A turkey sat at the head of the table like a Victorian gentleman. The center of the table was saved every year for one of Myrna’s rich and vibrant flower arrangements. This year splays of Scotch pine surrounded a magnificent red amaryllis. Nestled into the pine forest was a music box softly
playing the Huron Christmas Carol and resting on a bed of mandarin oranges, cranberries and chocolates.

Olivier carried the whole poached salmon to the table. A punchwas made for the children, who, unsupervised, stuffed themselves with candy. Thus did Émilie Longpré hold her réveillon, the party that spanned Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, an old Québecois tradition, just as her mother and grandmère had done in this very same home on this very same night. Spotting Em turning in circles Clara wound her arm round the tiny waist.

Discussion on “Postcards from Three Pines: A Fatal Grace

  1. Sarah Zumpf says:

    Louise, I adore these postcards …

  2. Ann Gammon says:

    My favorite Christmas memory was Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve in the little missionary church in Arkansas.

    • Barbara Gammon says:

      Just wondered where you are from. We have the same last name. I had an Aunt Annie from Canada. Love the 3 Pines books so much.

  3. Mary S. Cliver says:

    What a lovely picture you have drawn. Merci. Love all of these books and the characters you have created.

  4. Nancy Thomas says:

    Such a delightful gift to us!

  5. Debby Moreau says:

    Reading this is like walking into a warm hug. I love the feeling I get when the village has it’s gatherings, makes me wish I was there. I want to live in Three Pines.

  6. Elizabeth DiGregorio says:

    Louise…this arrived at the right time. Sitting in VA, temperature at 8 am is already high 80’s and feeling like 100 with the humidity. I am rereading the “cold passages” from A Fatal Grace just to cool down! Thank you as always for hitting the right notes and the right time.

  7. Diane Brokenshire says:

    Thank you dear Louise for these lovely reminders of life in Three Pines. Currently I have a friend recovering, slowly at home from a long hospital stay. She was an avid reader but sadly this skill seemed to have left her until recently. Glass Houses sat near her chair and FINALLY, with great joy, she was once again able to do it…….she was reading again. Thank you for the wonderful escapes you provide to each of us. We both can’t wait for Kingdom of the Blind. Be well, be happy.

  8. Kittie McIntire says:

    I love Three Pines, and feel as though I know the people as friends.

  9. Nancy Eichinger says:

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful picture postcards with all of us! Am anxious to read the new book!

  10. Lynn Hutto says:

    You are so skilled at describing setting! You bring the readers into the room and make us want to stay.

  11. Melinda Schumacher says:

    I love Three Pines! You have made the place feel so real.

  12. Nancy Kursewicz says:

    This postcard makes me wish for Christmas. Thank you for giving me a glimpse of my friends from Three Pines.

  13. Adele Lott says:

    Your descriptions are so beautifully drawn I am there, ready for a slice of turkey, a scoop of every casserole, a hug from Myrna and a glare from Ruth. It feels like home. Thank you.

  14. Jane Butler says:

    I do so love your Three Pines village and it’s inhabitants. I am hoping to travel to Quebec next year for a tour. Thank you.

  15. Alice Briggs says:

    It’s beautifully detailed descriptions of life in Three Pines such as this that make us love the place and wish we could actually go there !!

    • Karen LeDrew says:

      I so agree, Alice! A year ago, I asked Louise to let me know if there were any properties for sale in Three Pines. Hah! At least, she got a laugh out of my request. It’s so true, though, that Louise has brought her characters and the location to life so that they feel like friends.

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