Postcards from Three Pines: Still Life

Still Life Postcard
“Here in Quebec. Finally started writing. I think I’ll call it STILL LIFE. What do you think? Struggling a bit with fear but inspired by the fall colours. ”

Three Pines wasn’t on any tourist map, being too far off any main or even secondary road. Like Narnia, it was generally found unexpectedly and with a degree of surprise that such an elderly village should have been hiding in this valley all along. Anyone fortunate enough to find it once usually found their way back. And Thanksgiving, in early October, was the perfect time. The weather was usually crisp and clear, the summer scents of old garden roses and phlox were replaced by musky autumn leaves, woodsmoke and roast turkey.

Three huge pine trees faced [Gamache] at the far end of the green. Between him and them was a pond, a bunch of sweater-clad children circling it, hunting for frogs, he supposed. The village green sat, not surprisingly, in the center of the village, a road called The Commons circling it with homes, except behind him, which seemed to be the commercial district. It was a very short commercial. It consisted, as far as Gamache could see, of a depanneur whose Pepsi sign read ‘Beliveau’. Beside that was a boulangerie, the Bistro and a bookstore. Four roads led off The Commons, like the spokes of a wheel, or the directions of a compass.

As he sat quietly and let the village happen around him he was impressed by how beautiful it was, these old homes facing the green, with their mature perennial gardens and trees. By how natural everything looked, undesigned. And the pall of grief that settled on this little community was worn with dignity and sadness and a certain familiarity. This village was old, and you don’t get to be old without knowing grief. And loss.

Discussion on “Postcards from Three Pines: Still Life

  1. I think its time for us to have a large fan gathering at Three Pines; I wanna go!

  2. Grace says:

    I wish Three Pines was real, I would go there and shut out the rest of the world.

  3. Bonnie Northcutt says:

    Thank you for this beautiful image of the forest surrounding Three Pines. I have been hungering for another glimpse of Three Pines and of course another “visit” with the people who find their way to live in Three Pines. Can hardly wait until November!!

  4. Christine McCann says:

    LOVE this idea!

  5. Cindy Barnard says:

    Ahhhh.. the magic of these stories! i look forward to the postcards and re-living the adventure of these characters through this forum. A treat! thanks!

  6. Susan Rommel says:

    From the first moment I opened Still Life for a book club selection, I became enthralled with Louise Penny’s insightful writing style. The characters of Three Pines have become part of my consciousness and I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in November. Thank you, Louise.

  7. arlene pollick says:

    The Eastern Townships will always be home, no matter how far away I am. The little villages are such jewels, just like 3 Pines and Knowlton. Thank you Louise for bringing them to life and highlighting their history and existence.

  8. Pauline says:

    Thinking of Three Pines just makes my heart feel good. So am looking forward to getting reminders by way of these lovely postcards. Joyful thanks, Louise.

  9. Cheryl M Tilli says:

    Have read and loved every book and look forward to the new one. I always miss the “friends” from Three Pines when I finish each book. I would love to be a dinner guest in the Gamache home, or savor a croissant and chocolat chaud at the bistro My mom is quebecoise, and reading the French phrases reminds me of her.

  10. Carolyn says:

    When I first read “Still Life” I was so taken with Three Pines that the next summer, as we were in Vermont already, I convinced my husband to go into Canada and look for it. We came across North Hatley and I was happy with enough coincidences to call it a model for the town. We’ve been to Knowlton twice since then.

  11. Anne Flanagan says:

    Have read all the Inspector Gamache series and love the beautiful descriptions of
    the village of Three Pines. Can’t wait to read Still Life!

  12. Rebecca Richman says:

    I’ve shared my love of these books with a friend who read them years ago. We both want to move to Three Pines. The thing I love more than any other is that Louise teaches us about real places that would be so wonderful to visit.
    The Monastery, the Habitat, that wonderful garden that is only open one day a year. I google all of these places.

  13. Carol Nida says:

    This is the book that hooked me on the Gamache series. I fell in love with the wonderful description of Three Pines. Then I fell in love with the man Inspector Gamache was. Then there was the mystery and the way it unfolded. All the characters I was introduced to…. the list goes on. Thank you for the Post Cards – it brings back all the memories of reading each book.

  14. Ruth Corbit says:

    Three Lines is the North American equivalent of Midsomer, and yes, I would love to live in either place☺

  15. Kathryn Ahrenholtz says:

    I yearn to be in Three Pines. It reminds me of where I grew up in Green Mountain Falls CO. A very small town in the mountains.

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