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. Debby Phielix says:

    When can I move to Three Pines?

  2. Nicole Keshav says:

    The postcards are a great idea, drawing us in with a personal touch and a reminder to slow down and notice the little things. I still treasure the postcards and letters I’ve received over the years (rare now, until yours). I especially like the ones I inherited, written in a German script no longer in use, called Suetterlin, written and sent ny my aunts during the last world war. Deciphering them took a while, but was well worth the effort.

  3. Shirley Douglas says:

    Ah! We stayed at Le Chien Noir in Knowlton last fall. Magical feeling of stepping into the books!

  4. Karen zyszkiewicz says:

    This is where I want to live!

  5. Jill Leaman says:

    Three Pined takes me to a magical place with every book.
    Thank you.

  6. Ben Earnest says:

    This is a great reminder of why I loved Still Life, and all the books that followed.

  7. Like the aroma of scones fresh from the oven and a path marked by sunlight through the trees, this pulls me in. Even knowing danger awaits, I must enter the village, cautiously.

    Perhaps it is time to reread the entire series.

  8. Robin Watson says:

    Oh my goodness Louise every time I read or read your books and especially your first book, I am reminded once again how I fell in love with your writing, Gamache, Three Pines And all the lovely people who live there, it’s been such a great series, I thank you again for the wonderful journey we’ve been on with you.

  9. Judy Distler says:

    Sigh – Three Pines is better than Brigadoon. . . I am ready to move there right now (in spite of the murder rate)!

  10. Karie Conklin says:

    What a wonderful way to count the days! Looking forward to the newest Gamache book. Thank you Louise Penny.

  11. Elizabeth Cox says:

    Such beautiful post cards. Still Life is still an amazing book!

  12. Diane Cobb says:

    I stumbled into Three Pines in much the same way…this looks like a good book, I think I’ll read it. I enjoy going back each year, and l reread a few of the previous books before the new release. It’s always good to go back to the beginning…..

  13. Judy Last says:

    This place is my Nirvana!

  14. Judy Distler says:

    Three Pines is better than Brigadoon! In spite of the murder rate (we would not have these wonderful books without that), I would move there right now!

  15. nancy reynolds says:

    Have loved all these books. I, like others, am ready to start all over again with book one.

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