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. Patricia Ditter says:

    The people of Three Pines have become my very special friends. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all cared about each other the way they do. So anxious to see what happens next.

  2. Kit Ahrenholtz says:

    You are such a wonderful storyteller, as a reader I am transported into the cold weather, the delicious smells, and the characters who feel like real people. I am there
    Can’t wait for the new book.

  3. Nan Clarke says:

    Lovely. Even though it is hot and sultry here, I can imagine being a part of the celebration.

  4. Sally Schmidt says:

    So beautiful, thanks.

  5. Larry Franks says:

    When I grow up, I want to be like Gamache. At age 68, I better get started! I look forward to each new adventure, and will soon indulge myself with a re-read of *all* his travels.

  6. Ferelith Hoffmann-Taylor says:

    What gifts you share with us.
    I sit quietly in fron of the fireplace in The Bistro at Three Pines and read your books.
    They don’t even know I am there.

  7. Judy Bates says:

    Thank you for Three Pines and all of its citizens! I came for a visit last fall and could not find it! Looked all over for it, but then I realized it was in my heart all along!

  8. Jane Kisner says:

    I have always thought that your words are like paintings on the pages, each one more exquisite than the last! I absolutely love all your books about Three Pines!

  9. Joyce Tyler says:

    Your photo is gorgeous and makes me think it won’t be long before the snow
    Starts to fall here. Looking forward to reading the Kingdom of the Blind.
    Take care.

  10. Carol Kamin says:

    I want to move to Canada even if there is not a Three Pines!

  11. Lois Davidson says:

    I’m really looking forward to those postcards – but honestly Louise, I wouldn’t advise skating on that pond. Better stick to the books!
    Once again, many thanks

  12. Vickie Theriault says:

    Love your books. Can’t wait for the next one in November. Hope to travel to your corner of Quebec in October.

  13. I adore the postcards and notes. I, too, wish I could hang out and blend with the characters of Three Pines. With all of its problems, it seems so warm and inviting. I am anxious for A Fatal Grace.

  14. Pat Lynch-Hayes says:

    I started to say, “I want to be there” but then I realized, “I am!” Thanks to the beautiful way you share, Louise.

  15. Janice F Ashby says:

    Makes one wish Three Pines was really there for all of us, your devoted readers/fans to visit! But at least we can in our minds with your lovely and detailed descriptions.

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