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. Lana says:

    November 27 is so far away. Thank you for the Postcards in the meantime!

  2. Marie-Thérèse Levesque says:

    I fell in love with your writing at the very first book. So much details… we can smell, taste, see and feel all the emotions, you are a wonderful writer. I read all the series and I re-read them all and I still love them. I love each and every character, they are family and friends to me. I read a lot and I have never found anyone who could make me feel so many varied emotions, you are gifted. I am always looking forward to your next book with anticipation. I used to live very close to Québec and I love, love that city and everything in it, the people etc. and I can admit that I simply love you and your writing, you are part of my family. And I felt very sad for the loss of your dear husband, I hope you are mending well. Thank you for sharing your life with us the readers, it is an honour for me.

  3. Michele says:

    Loved all the books and the Postcards project is a wonderful reminder!

  4. Terry says:

    It sets the stage so beautifully – you automatically picture the town, the personality, the ‘feel’ of the place.

  5. Gitte Collins says:

    i have been wanting to go to Three Pines ever since I read Still Life, I want to go visit with all the inhabitants of the village, go eat at the Bistro, visit Myrna’s bookshop, visit the bakery and get a croissant, I could go on and on. Just want to move there I think.

  6. Marilyn Yarema says:

    I love Three Pines and everything and everyone associated with it. One of the best things that happened to me in 2017 was discovering these wonderful books.

  7. Kerri (The Storyteller) Gemmel says:

    This reminds me of villages I have visited, particularly an area in which I once lived, to which I ache to return, the locale of the tales I share with my readers and listeners.
    As I read that brief description of Three Pines I understood why the place, and the people have come to mean so much – I knew them when I lived in that beautiful and special place. Different names, the bistro was a sandwich shop in the live bait shop, professions and workplaces were different, but the people: I knew them and loved them.
    How could I not feel at home in Three Pines?

  8. Julia Schenk says:

    Everyday I go to Canada and visit with the gang. As I read I feel everything. Clara would be my best friend. Thanks from bookwoman

  9. Mary says:

    Thank you for this lovely gift as we begin the season of fall. I absolutely love Gamache and all the friends of Three Pines.

  10. Carole Perry says:

    Inspector Gamache and the village of Three Pines is like family; the family you long for. I always relish the time we get to spend with everyone during each new novel. Thank you, Louise, for the very rich experience each visit brings.

  11. Margaret Harvey says:

    These books take me into a special world. I feel as though I know the people personally after reading them. Louise Penny has such a wonderful imagination and she writes so beautifully. She has given us a real gift!

    Some of her fans plan to read the books again and that is a great idea, so I will do that too.

  12. Liz Wicksteed says:

    Thank you for this Louise. Ann Gammon, that is a lovely thought re your brother , RIP. My mother already finds solace in Three Pines after my father’s death last year.

  13. Autumn has always been my favourite season, l just love, love, love this gift from you. Thank you

  14. Joanne Ohlhausen says:

    Love this new offering..I am dyed in the wool fan. Thank you

  15. Barb Van Horn says:

    The description is, indeed, a great reminder of the layout of Three Pines. It’s been a while since I read Still Life. I was hooked on the series from the beginning. My favorite is Glass Houses – but maybe I say that about each one. Thank you for the postcard.

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