Discussion on “A Return to Three Pines: A Trick of the Light

  1. Iris Accettola says:

    Ruth is not as senile as she pretends to be. A little eccentric, but sharp as a tack. She is the eyes and ears, if not the heart and soul, of Three Pines. Oddly enough, she is a loyal friend with a sharp tongue.

  2. D. McKenzie says:

    Perhaps her rough tenderness with and for Jean Guy. It touches my heart and springs amusement.

  3. Linda Vanfossav says:

    The fact that she is Capitan of the Fire Brigade says a lot about how Three Pines views her.

  4. Sue Moore says:

    I wept when she took Rosa outside without her coat just as a flock of geese flew over. Of course, Ruth would have known that was the time for their flight – as well as for Rosa’s. To let go of something dear so it can soar is a true mark of love.

  5. Elizabeth Brice says:

    My favorite Ruth moment is when she waits faithfully for Rosa to return, belying her apparent cynicism.

  6. Al dussault says:

    Ruth and handsome Jean-Guy share the trait of seeing the dark side first. Both are intuitive, and when they clash, they mesh. She is a wild and lovable narcissist.
    A reader gets the idea that she speaks whatever thought comes into her mind. Then there is the
    Fuck, fuck, fuck duck clearly showing her deep regret for having touched the wilderness creature, she takes on the duty of loyalty, mothering the duck.
    Perhaps the best metaphor for the Jean-guy and Ruth’s relationship is how Henri, the beloved radar-eared shepherd feels about the duck.

  7. Of all the books, this is my favorite for all the above reasons.

    • Anne Niland says:

      I love this book also. It was my favorite until I read ~All the Devils are here~

      I have read and re-read the series and ALWAYS find something new!!
      Louise Penny is brilliant in character development

      • Sherrie Frame says:

        I always feel each book is my favorite until I read the next and never want series to end. I am going to start re-reading them all. Cannot wait until August. Love the food and warm gatherings.

  8. Susan Kourim says:

    I love Ruth.. she is a cranky, yet loveable (once you come to know her) person. I wouldn’t mind if she called me names. To her those are endearment.

  9. Maureen Glynn Miller says:

    Louise, thanks so much for writing actual human characters with imperfections, just like us. Ruth, bless her heart, is quintessentially an example of an individual who may shock you, but also bring thought about her motives. I’m sure many of us have a Ruth in our lives, and we make allowances for the personalities that emerge, at will. I suspect that Louise is teaching us how to be kind, even under dire circumstances. ☮️✨

  10. Anne Corsano says:

    One of my favorites! Ruth is a great character and reminds me of my grandma, who was tough, spoke her mind and called people names (of course those were the people she loved the most!)
    Thank you Louise Penny for bringing us characters that we can care about.

  11. Nash Simonet says:

    Ruth is the crust around the fragrant inner softness of the Three Pines family. Without her, it wouldn’t hold together or taste nearly as good!

  12. Sandy Taibi says:

    Love all Louise Penny books I am sure I now have all of them now(and I get most of my
    Reading from the library) but I read hers over and over especially when I just need to feel comfort. Thank you Louise Penny.

  13. Mary Jean M Potenzone says:

    Louise, you have written Ruth so beautifully over the books that you can only grow to know and understand what depth lies beneath the fowl language which is a mark of just how dear you are to her. Her love, and it is love, for Jean Guy, as a mother, made me love her all the more. She is his fairy godmother sent to protect him, a soulmate on Earth to ground him. The love she gives to her duck can only be read as a true sign of divine blessings. Animals can never love and cuddle and show loyalty and devotion to anyone but the naturally good. I swear like a sailor, especially when I am scared or uncomfortable for stability and there just aren’t any other words that can say or express what I am feeling at the moment. They are just words. Like Ruth, no evil or harm intended. Just a blustery show to ward off others from knowing my true self. Louise, I consider Ruth a rare and special gift from you to me. Thank you so much.

  14. Cedar says:

    With those who mentioned Ruth’s relationship with Jean Guy, I agree. (Not that I disagree with any of the comments!) I think she had much to do with helping him to heal. However (since I mostly use audiobooks) I have not liked Robert Bathurst’s interpretation. His voice for her is more of a caricature or a witch than a complex character.

    • Mary Ellen Brezovsky says:

      Cedar – these audiobooks have been a Godsend to me! (Thank you Louise for making this year bearable <3) I felt that Ralph Cosham absolutely embodied our dear Armand and was heartbroken to learn that he had passed away. No, Robert Bathurst is not the same, but I think he does an excellent job stepping into shoes that were very difficult to fill.

      And I love Ruth's pet nickname for Jean-Guy, "numbnuts!"

  15. Margot says:

    Ruth may be the only person who can really help Jean Guy to heal. Like him she has experienced deep wounds that lead her appear to reject the love of others and to hide her own wisdom and love. Ruth’s capacity for unselfish love is beautifully illustrated by her allowing Rosa the freedom to go and in Ruth’s capacity for faith in Rosa’s return. I love Nash’s analogy of Ruth as the crust that holds and protects the “fragrant inner softness of the Three Pines Family” I think that expresses my vision of who Ruth is perfectly.

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