Gamache Series Open Discussion

Join us here in The Bistro for a discussion on the entire Gamache series. Feel free to ask or answer any questions about any of the books or the series as a whole.

Paul Hochman

Discussion on “Gamache Series Open Discussion

  1. Julie Buck says:

    Nancy, I am so sorry to hear of your son’s passing. How very difficult it must be. The way you and your husband wrote about him was beautiful and touching, and I felt as though I knew him a little. I grew up on the north shore of Lake Superior (in Thunder Bay, which was then, Port Arthur and Fort William – the town changed names when the two cities joined together). It was always known as “The Lakehead” and why they didn’t name it that, I’ll never know.

    • Nancy says:

      Thank you Julie. We just finished cleaning out Jason’s apartment today.

      In regard to “Thunder Bay”, didn’t they have a vote to choose the name and “The Lakehead” lost? Seems to me that I heard something like that. We drove through there in 1966. I think that was before the name change.

      • Julie Buck says:

        Nancy – you are right. On both counts – in 1966 it was still the two cities – and there were several “names” we went by – as you might guess,”The Twin Cities” as well as “The Lakehead”. I’m not sure if “Thunder Bay” was the name of the bay we were sitting on or not. I never heard of it before the vote. I was a teenager coming up to the vote, and wasn’t old enough to vote when it came up. What the powers that be did was put both “Lakehead” and “The Lakehead” on the ballot, so they split that vote and got the one they wanted. Certainly, now that we’ve all gotten used to it, “Thunder Bay” sounds more dramatic.

  2. Anna says:

    How are you managing Nancy? Cleaning out Jason’s apartment can not have been easy. I am keeping you in my thoughts. I am also very grateful that you are sharing this time with us.
    I have added the north shore of Lake Superior to my try and see list. Wuite frankly, I could spend months up here in Canada trying to see it all.

  3. Anna says:

    Gentle snow is swirling and twirling beyond the airport windows in Quebec. We are about to start heading ‘home’. Haven’t quite spent enough time in the apartment for it to feel completely like home yet but it will. Thinking of you all

  4. Julie Buck says:

    Have an uneventful trip, Anna. Are you going to be in DC on January 17th? You’ll have to tell us what it’s like. I imagine just being in the city will be quite strange – lots of protests expected, I think, and lots and lots and lots of security, which I’m afraid will all be needed.

    Sharon, welcome to our little corner of the Bistro – we hope you like it, and we haven’t hogged all of the chairs by the fire. Since it’s in our imaginations, we always think that we can ALL have a coveted seat by the fire… Do tell us what it was like growing up in Paris – if there’s ever a city that captures people’s imaginations, that’s it!

    Anna – Canada is very large and you’ll never see it all, hahaha – the area Nancy is talking about is often called “The Canadian Shield” and is marked by wild outcroppings of stone that is not seen anywhere else in North America.

    If you have the time, and feel like it – a great way to “see Canada” is to take the train across the country – it takes 2 weeks, but could be amazing, and will definitely give you the idea of immensity of the country. Canada is the second largest country in the world, second only to Russia (even after the breakup of the USSR). Lake Superior, which we’ve been talking about, is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. The largest and most westerly of the Great Lakes (all of which have been very unimaginatively named), it really is a “great” lake – holding 10% of all the fresh water on earth. It was a really interesting place to grow up. There is still quite a bit of “wilderness” there, as 90% of Canada’s population is strung along the US border, leaving millions of square miles empty and wild and very beautiful. I often used to shake my head at whatever people would have traveled across the sea, and then across the land to come to a place like Winnipeg, and decide “yep – this is the place we’re going to stay”. I just KNOW it was summer when they did, because if it had been winter, they’d have kept on going. By the time you get to Winnipeg, heading west from Ontario, you have left the Canadian Shield right behind you. You are getting to the prairies, which have their own bleak beauty. They continue unimpeded for three large provinces, before you come to the Rocky Mountains, which are very large. Just the other side of that, you have the west coast, which has its own microclimate, and is Canada’s California! There is a lot to see.

  5. Anna says:

    Thanks for the lovely long informative post Julie. I do wNt to do the train trip across Canada. It is on my very long wish list.
    Tonight we are spending the evening in Montreal having missed our connection. Hopefully our bags will show up and we can go to our hotel and triple hope there is a food option. Staying calm.

    • Nancy says:

      Oh Anna, where are you? Will you have time in the morning before going to airport? We are only about 2 miles from the city center and I’d love to meet you. Is your hotel near the airport (that’s not far from us either)?

  6. Anna says:

    Oh Nancy wouldn’t that have been grand. We are on our way back to airport on 530 shuttle.

  7. Anna says:

    We didn’t get to our hotel until 930 pm and raced to the restaurant for food. Then it was straight to bed. I wish we had more time Nancy as seeing you would have made the delay a joy!!

    • Nancy says:

      Anna, I’m sorry we missed you. Maybe next time we can get together for a visit. I used to fly from Sudbury (Northern Ontario) to Pittsburgh to visit my parents in the winter. I always stayed overnight in Toronto so I could see friends for a few hours. It also kept me from missing the next connection if there was a storm. (But really, I loved being able to see my friends.)

      • Anna says:

        I was very sad the opportunity was missed Nancy but the timeline was tight. Catching up with friends is a good reason to stopover and avoiding missed connections is another. We nearly missed the plane home again. Lots of snow in Toronto delayed our flight. Never mind. Home now and very tired.
        Thinking of you Nancy and will try to get that way again.

  8. A Christmas day posting on the AGR discussion page. Just checked and found it.
    Glad you are back, Anna. What a wonderful time you must have had.
    Take time to catch your breath then go for the adventure in DC. I have often thought of how great it would be to just decide to go to one of the Museums, Memorials, etc. any day just because you can.
    I hope you enjoy the events and activities that are coming up.

  9. Julie, your post about Canada reminded me of many years ago when I wanted to take a train across Canada. I think it would be thrilling. Of course, I never got to take the trip. I studied about the towns and areas along the way. I had planned to keep a detailed journal and later write about the places I saw and the people I met.

  10. Anna says:

    Hi Barbara. We have been to the Natural History Museum and Air and Space and wandered the Mall. I will make sure to do some more with Erin.
    Like you I plan many trips. I have been very fortunate to make a great number of them but many more like the train journey have yet to happen. Mind you, after the last couple of weeks I am looking forward to pottering and making home a home. First things first…piles of washing!

  11. Julie Buck says:

    Haha – if it was me, Anna, I’d be definitely for pottering and making a nest. To me, home is always a “safe harbor” from the harshness of the world, and I can imagine that this is more needed these days than ever before! I’ve always done whatever I could to make sure that it felt like “home” when you came in and shut the door, whether that meant painting everything in shades that calm and cajole me, or just making sure that each person is celebrated when walking through the door. It’s so important to me, and has never let me down, even when I lived alone. It makes life so much happier and easier.

    At the same time, planning a trip and poring over maps and restaurant guides, etc., also makes me very happy. Lots of things in this world to see and do… I hope each of us has the chance to have both in plenty of quantity in the coming year.

  12. Anna says:

    I am quite the nester too Julie which I have been spending quite a bit of time doing to make the apartment feel homey. Still holidays are fun too, just a bit tiring.
    You will be pleased to know Barbara, we did another museum today. Rather we did the annex of the Air and Space museum out near Dulles airport. It is actually better, I think, than the main section in town. They have the Discovery space shuttle, a Blackbird, the Enola Gay and a Concorde among a huge selection of craft. I really enjoyed it.
    Happy New Year everyone.

  13. Cathryne Spencer says:

    I am waiting to hear you’ve made your first apple pie in your new home, Anna. You’ve been very busy, but one dark, cold day this winter an apple pie would be fun and smell wonderful!

  14. Anna says:

    Ah Cathryne, I have definitely been contemplating a pie. First I need a pie dish! It surely would make the place smell homey and warm. Wish you could all come over and have some.
    It is nearly New Year. I should be asleep but there are people in the party room next door being noisy and I am still coughing. Think I will just sit here by the fire in the Bistro. I see Gabri has bought me a hot toddy of lemon and honey…how thoughtful.

  15. Cathryne Spencer says:

    Ah, darling , thoughtful Gabri. Honey especially can be so helpful with a persistent cough. You have been going full speed ahead for so long, Anna, I’m glad you are relaxing by the fire and allowing yourself to be nursed a bit.
    Happy New Year to you and to all! I am enjoying listening to the rain as I lie in bed. Such a pleasure in San Diego where we’ve had so little rain for several years of drought.

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