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. Dora says:

    I’ve gotten to know Three Pines from the beautiful descriptions by Louise Penny. I always feel like I’m there.I would love to sit in the Bistro and enjoy the company of such great people and have some delicious food.

  2. Cindy Matherne says:

    Absolutely wonderful and beautiful! Think I’ll have to read Still Life again.

  3. Eileen Reilly says:

    Many family members read you so at the age of 71 I decided to see what all the fuss was about. In nearly every book I find some expression that captures me and it makes it to my notebook so I can look at it whenever I want. You are a beautiful writer and I can’t wait for the new one. Thank you for the postcard.

  4. Colleen Ayres-Petering says:

    I was drawn in from the beginning and Three Pines is now my favorite destination. Love these books!

  5. Janetta Manley says:

    Such an inviting feeling. Would love to be sitting there enjoying a fresh pastry and coffee from the Bistro.

  6. Ann Mooney says:

    I had forgotten how much this description of Three Pines drew me in and gave me such a sense of peace.

  7. Jaime Bell says:

    I so love the characters and Three Pines. Wish it were an actual place so I could visit. Love your books Louise!!! Can’t wait for the new one!

  8. Peter LaVenia says:

    I was introduced to the series by a young woman in a bookstore in the Eastern Townships. She told me the author lived locally. Having dear friends there, I visit the townships frequently from the States. I look forward to each new book in the series.

  9. Candace Sbeglia says:

    Love that you are doing this, Louise! I have read and re-read all of your books and then started the audio version so I could get the correct pronunciation of the words or names in French!
    Looking forward to your next postcard!

  10. Hilary Wynters says:

    Takes me right back to reading Still Life and my first introduction to Three Please nes. Think you Louise Penney. What a little felt idea

  11. Maggie says:

    I fell in love with Three Pines, I would totally live there.

  12. Phyllis says:

    This is the description that made me fall in love with Three Pines and all the Gamache Books. Love!

  13. Linda Keeley says:

    I will miss summer when it leaves for this year, but after reading the postcard, I am again looking forward to autumn. It truly is my favourite season, with its sights, sounds and aromas and a new Gamache novel.

  14. Martha Hutson says:

    Among paintings and etchings in my tiny cottage is the layout of Three Pines, matted in pine green and framed in a simple dark wood frame. It reminds me of the village I love and the people I think of as friends.

  15. Mary Lee St. Aubin says:

    My family (grandparents) were from Sutton and Brome. Three Pines takes me back there. A gift!
    Thanks for the postcards from home.

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