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. Susan Wuorinen says:

    Brilliant idea.

  2. Margee says:


  3. Kate Wright says:

    Just the other day my daughter and I were talking about “if money was no object” where would you want to live. We exchanged a few places and then out of the blue I said Three Pines. I want to live in Three Pines and I don’t even like cold weather!

  4. Judy Bickel says:

    The first of many visits to this special place. I couldn’t wait to return!

  5. Lu says:

    I fell in love with Three Pines with the first book I read. But it was the setting and my new friends, Gamache and co, that kept me going back every time.

  6. Elaine says:

    I love this idea. Just like I love your books!

  7. ANNE E SELTZ says:

    What a good idea someone had. I, too, shall begin at the beginning rereading all my memories. Have them all lined up on the shelf waiting for the next one. Thanks Louise for seeing the world as you do.

  8. Carol says:

    I love the idea of the post cards. Just reading the comments makes me want to re-read the series – and, of course, at least visit Three Pines if I can’t live there.

  9. Sharon Edwards says:

    I can hardley wait for THE KINGDOM OF THE BLIND. It will feel good to be back in Three Pines again. Am read reading all the books again and discovering new with every reading. Postcards sound so perfect.

  10. Laura Katz says:

    How I love the village and the villagers (even Ruth)!

  11. Linda Rigaux says:

    This takes me back to the first time I read Still Life on the recommendation of a dear friend. I was swept into the book on that description alone. As I sunk further into the story I was chilled when the weather turned chilly and fell in love with my now new friends in the story. Thanks for the memories!

  12. Susan Lock says:

    Dear Ms Penny
    You have given us all such a sweet gift by walking with and through your fear.
    Thank you!

  13. Loren says:

    Fantastic! I have missed 3 Pines. This brings it all back.

  14. Barbara Charron says:

    I think I will start re-reading all your books. I can’t believe it has been 13 years.

  15. Janice Howell says:

    I remember starting your second book and was so glad we were back in Three Pines. I loved the people and didn’t want to lose them.

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