From Pg. 26
Professor Leduc moved his left arm, so that his wrist felt the butt of the handgun through his jacket. As he did that, he lifted his right hand and shook Gamache’s. Holding the man’s hand and his eyes. Both of which were steady, and displayed neither anger nor challenge. It was, Leduc realized, far more threatening than any overt show of force could ever be.
I really liked taking Gamache out of his regular job and placing him in the Academy. Who better to clean it up than someone who is by nature a teacher? I was lucky to have a few teachers, and professors, as I bumbled my way through school, who were thoughtful and patient. Who saw the big picture, the whole person. I also had some bullies, and that was equally instructive.
From Pg. 53
The poetry book had joined the others hidden under there. Books in Latin and Greek. Poetry books and philosophy books. She’d taught herself the dead languages, and memorized poetry. Among the filth. Shutting out the sounds of sex, the mutterings and shouts and screams of other boarders. The flushing toilets and obscenities and stench. All erased by poetry.
We all, I think, have something we cling to when times get tough. Prayers. Songs. Mantras. For me it’s a combination of prayer and poetry. Both calming. Centering. I wanted to write Amelia as a soul who’d lost her bearings, but not her way. She’s still looking for the path. The way “home”. The books she loves, the works she loves, are a sort of compass. I also wanted her to be an autodidact. Someone who clings to beauty, who doesn’t give in to the despair all around her. And yet is cynical, self-destructive, angry, bitter. But who, when a hand is stretched out, takes it. Now this is a person to be reckoned with. As Gamache recognizes.
From Pg. 31
Gamache had laughed. “I wish it was a mountain. At least they’re majestic. Conquering them brings some sense of triumph. The Sûreté Academy is more like a great big hole filled with merde. And I’ve fallen into it.”
“Fallen, patron? As I remember it, you jumped.”
Ha…it was so fun writing Gamache in the Academy. Seeing him in academae. Surrounded by students. Not all of them well-adjusted. And needing to have a firm grip on the professors. Gamache thinks he knows what, as Beauvoir put it, he’s jumped into. But he actually has no idea. I’d like to say I knew exactly what he would do, how he’d handle it, when he found out. But the fact is, I didn’t. What I knew was the man’s character, but I wanted to just see…. by this point in the series, while I know the characters (actually I think of them as people, not characters), well, I can still be surprised. I wanted to see what would happen when the full horror of what he’d gotten himself into began to dawn on him. And when it did, what he would do about it. Merde does not begin to describe the tragedy that was the Surete breeding ground.
From Pg. 161
The village had lulled him, however briefly, into forgetting that terrible things happened. He wondered if it was a gift, to forget however briefly, or a curse.
Three Pines will always be a refuge, for Gamache. For all the villagers. Not from pain, as long as we’re human that is inevitable. And few are more human than Gamache. But it’s a refuge from despair. Because as bad as things get, the villagers know they’re not alone. That’s the key, isn’t it? Having a place of peace. A quiet place in the bright sunshine. However briefly. Before it’s back to the trenches of life. But they take Three Pines with them in their hearts. As do I. As do you.
From Pg. 40
Yes, a snowman, however jolly, must have worry in his heart. As did the work of art. Or map. Or whatever it was they’d found in the wall.
Love and worry. They went hand in hand. Fellow travelers.
I don’t know about you, but I worry about the people I love. All the time. It’s not front and centre, more like a hum in the background. Spiking now and then, and never completely off. The wages of love. The cost of caring. The map in the wall aches with that. With love and worry. The cheerful snowman on the map, who nevertheless knows the sun will come out. Spring will arrive. What Gabri and Olivier found in the wall of the bistro was a map home. So that whoever had it would know, there was a way back. To a place where they were safe. And where they could forget, however briefly, the horrors of the outside world.
28 replies on “The Annotated Three Pines: A Great Reckoning”
I am very blessed. I live in my own house with my son who is also my caregiver (and chef). We have made our home a refuge for two somewhat introverted people who work very well blending out lives. We do have a circle of friends that we also depend on but it is amazing to feel how special it is to just come home to my refuge after work each day. My little piece of Three Pines a very long way from Quebec! Thanks so much, Louise, for sharing with us these concepts and shelters.
Since I will be discussing Kingdom of the Blind in my book discussion group, could you annotate that novel. I flew from Florida to Raleigh to thank you for allowing me to copy a sentence from A Beautiful Mystery. It was marvelous to listen to your talk and speak with you afterwards.
It’ll be annotated on August 20th.
I see that what make’s Louise a great writer is how she thinks, and equally important is how she feels about how she thinks.
I love the captions that she writes, they do not sound any different than the novels she painstakingly writes.
It is so easy to fall in love with her characters; but the fact is I am in literary love with Louise as much as I am with the fantasy of Three Pines.
It takes a remarkable person to write a remarkable book.
So glad to have found Three Pines & Knowlton
I have also become captivated by Louise, the writer. I have just returned from a tour of the Eastern Townships which included visits to the various sites Louise fictionalized in her novels. This gave further insight into Louise the person and the author.
Her books bear re-reading any number of times as there is so much depth in her characters and she describes their pain and their joy with great sensitivity.
Louise has brought me great joy.
I love this comment. I, too, have a great love for Gamache and all the inhabitants of Three Pines. But also, I would love to meet Louise in person and give her a hug, for all the pleasure she has given me as well as her other faithful readers.
Thank you again Louise for all your special thoughts on writing process….it is so great to get inside your creative brain for just a second…you are so kind to your readers