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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.

3,650 replies on “The Bistro”

So glad you had that opportunity Julie. Fingers crossed we all will at some stage…maybe even together.
Speaking of fingers crossed…Erin is starting her exams in an hour. Please send calming thoughts in her direction. She has worked hard but has been struck down by the dreaded lurgy in the last few days. Remember the lurgy? Anyway she is holding up well but I do feel for her.
I think I will rewatched some LP videos too…she always makes me feel as though good things are forever possible.

Thank you, Anna, for the link. I feel like watching all these interviews, and the one time I got to see Louise in person, has been like an ongoing conversation with Louise. She just makes you all feel like you’re her friends, and such a funny, and generous person in real life.

Renovations are always lovely…once they are done. The process isn’t much fun though. Sitting here looking at my library wondering if I should strip the wall paper and paint the walls instead. It would look better for sure but ugh.
Did you find the video Pat? I enjoy listening to Louise talk about her writing. Pete is lucky that he will hear her in DC.

Yipee, Barbara – sounds like things are going along now… I bet you can’t wait for the renovations to be done – I always hated having to do without a bathroom or kitchen when Vern was working on those rooms.

Wow! Sam bought the rest of the items for the bathrooms renovation this AM. He is having them delivered from the store. I am so relived. He was talking last night about renting a truck and doing it himself. He has a hard time accepting his age.
I checked online and liked the same items he did. I should have thought of that myself since I had ordered the base for the TV from a place I found online. They are in Canada.

Hi, Pat. The depth of LP’s writing is amazing. I have learned to read more carefully than I do when I do read the “Light cozies”. The rich character development and serious plots are very welcome. We enjoy discussing LP and her family too. We all come from different geographical locals and are at various stages in our lives. This enables many viewpoints. It is surprising at the amount of material that can be discussed from one scene in a book.
Please join in whenever you want. Perhaps, you would like to add a few personal notes or comment when someone else does. Other authors and books are sometimes discussed as we are ardent readers.
Anna and Julie are wonderful with sharing info.
I’m without a computer right now, but will soon make up mmy mind about what to buy. For now, I’m using my sister’s and sometimes go to the branch library.
Glad you joined us Three Piners.

I went and rewatched the video interview with Louise that I thought would address your question best Pat. It is from 2013 when How The Light Gets In was released. Like Julie said, Louise describes it best so it is worth listening too. The question of how the story arcs develop is 55 mins 48 secs into the video but is also addressed a little more a couple of minutes later so watch at least from there on if you don’t have an hour to see the whole thing.
Essentially you will discover that Still Life was written, probably without any conception of more books to follow. By book five, A Brutal Telling, she had an idea of how the underlying story arc would end.
I will post a link to the video in my next post as sometimes links take a while to be moderated and appear. It is the Salon Appel video just in case.

Welcome Pat. As. Julie said, this is a great place to ask questions or just talk about Louise and her books. We have been doing that for a number of years now so we talk about other things as well while we wait in between releases.
You may be interested in listening to Louise talk about her writing process and the themes in her books. There are a number of videos on YouTube if you google her that are fascinating. Louise has had such a life of darkness and light and she is amazingly honest in her discussion of these things. I am not surprised it brings a great depth to her novels as she is capable of deep introspective thought and is brave enough to share elements of herself in her work.
please feel free to share any thoughts you have or ideas you which to ponder. We are happy to ponder with you.

Hi, Pat – this is a good place to talk about Louise’s books. When we started out, that’s all we talked about, but as we had done an in-depth discussion of each book, and finally found ourselves just waiting for the next one, a year away, we just kind of kept showing up here to see if anyone was around to chat. We began to talk about our lives and other books, and all kinds of things while we waited, but this is primarily a Louise Penny site. We consider ourselves as Three Piners, sitting around the Bistro, waiting for Gabri, Clara, Reine Marie – whoever – to show up and get us going again. So come on in, sit down and let’s discuss!

Nobody but Louise could actually answer how far head she has sorted out plot points, of course, but I did hear her say in an interview once that she had the basic story arc of the corruption in the Surete worked out “in general”, but that when she did each book, the nuances came out and she told the story that needed telling at that moment. We were all a little bit worried when How the Light Gets In was over, because, one – how do you top that? And two – what now? But Louise has been able to bring new stories and new challenges without having to change who Gamache is or leave behind the characters we love. It’s been wonderful. I agree that the seriousness of the stories i s amazing – these look at first glance like they will be light little “cozies”, but they are serious books discussing BIG ISSUES – but with so much entertainment, suspense and wit, that it doesn’t seem above my “paygrade” if you will. How she does this is a big mystery to me, but she does it very, very well.

I have a question about the Gamache series, but wonder if this is the right place, since the latest few pages of comments seem to be people chatting about their own lives. And maybe this is something well-known, but not to me: I wonder how far ahead Louise Penny plans her plots — that is, for example, when she was writing the section about the raid in the factory, or Jean-Guy’s addiction following that, had she imagined that incredibly painful final scene between him and Gamache in the woods in HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN? The density of the threads of character development and psychological meaning in these books is just remarkable. For that reason, first among others, I think I would rate these as among the best philosophically serious fiction I have ever read.

Exactly, Barbara – and having everyone jump on her is awful. I kind of think that whatever they want to say about him is fine – he signed on, but she didn’t. I expect it will blow over pretty quickly, but it can’t have been a pleasant experience for her. I don’t think she’ll be giving any more speeches.

Julie, I agree that we don’t want Trump for prs. but really. That poor woman only said what she was told to say. It makes me wonder that someone working for Trump is not. As the saying goes, this (being First Lady) was not in her job description.

Anna, that is so well-put! We have instant “gratification” in so much of our lives now, that when it’s missing, it’s so frustrating that we feel the need to let loose the dogs of war! Sneering and jeering is now so much a part of our lives that the kind thought never seems to have room to enter. I’m thinking this morning of the political “analysis” of Melania Trump’s speech. Make no mistake – I see no good coming of Trump and his continuing on to the ballot in November – but I also feel that they must have the worst staff in the world. How did someone not catch that awful mistake in her speech? And how did someone not “fix” her biography to take out the lie about graduating from university. This is a small white lie that so many people make on their resumes, these days. Forgivable. But it doesn’t take a genius to know that all these little lies will be pounced upon by the media once you throw your hat into the ring. This poor girl – I actually feel very sorry for her. She was just supposed to be a Trophy Wife and loving mother, and seemed to be doing those jobs very well. Suddenly “You’re gonna be the first lady, and you’re gonna be HUGE”, must have frightened her to death. And clearly, she’s not getting the help she should have been able to count on from the campaign staff…

After days of freezing weather I am wearing a t-shirt and the heater is off!. A blast of hot wet air has appeared and it feels like spring.
Definitely not hiding anything that big Julie! Just shopping for bedding.
I have been thinking about the ongoing craziness and it seems to be that self control is absent in the world. In the old days, if you had a bad experience you would tell a friend or write letter of complaint, which you would invariably tear up without sending having vented onto the paper. Now you spew vitriol onto a social media platform and its out there immediately receiving validation or condemnation straight away. The validation builds up your righteous anger and the condemnation makes you more determined to be right and spill even more venom onto the internet. Its a world of immediate anger, saying what you think and acting without further time for reflection upon your response. Get cut off on the road, pull out a weapon and beat the offending vehicle and driver….or pull out a gun. Don’t like how you were treated at work, school, the local shop? Take out a weapon and show them how you feel. Anger and immediacy and violence of expression of that anger seems to be becoming the norm.
You experienced the escalation of feelings on Facebook Julie. Somehow social media is enabling the violence and anger by allowing us to yell to the world when we feel hurt or aggrieved or we just want to be heard. And then there is reality TV!
There is something to be said for old fashioned civility, holding onto one’s thoughts and anger for a calmer moment, practising self control and the regulation of feelings….thinking before acting. The fomentation of discontent is rife. I fear it is not yet at its maximum point of expression.

I Googled doona to see, before I read Anna’s explanation – and a page of baby car seats came up. Though – hmmmmm – something you’re not telling us, Anna? Hee hee. Then I looked further and saw that it was more probably a duvet.

Anna – this world has certainly gotten crazier through the last few weeks, and I can understand Erin’s worry. The truth is that between two very scary situations right now getting lots of media attention, a person could be easily convinced that America is not safe. I hope she gets to feeling a little better about us before she sees us. The reality is that the chances of being caught in something like these attacks are very, very small, and most likely, wherever you go in America, you will feel safe. However, DC has all the important people in it – there will be a lot less to worry about there, as they will need to be protecting the government people.

Apparently the word was coined by Kimpton Feather Mills in the 1970s. They were an Australian company that specialised in feather bedding.

I wholeheartedly agree with online shopping. Some things you need to feel and clothes you need to try on unless you are very certain of the design and size, but I buy most stuff online. I certainly do my research online even if I am planning on visiting a physical store. That way I can walk in and walk out with what I want easily. I am sticking our apartment in the US by shopping online. Got sheets and things. Hunting for good doonas now in preparation for winter. Go for it Barbara.
Woke to the news from Baton Rouge. I am shaking my head wondering when it will stop. Erin said this morning, “But DC will be alright won’t it?” Problem is, I want it all to be alright. I want all my friends from the Bistro to be happy and safe, and all their friends. I want to show my daughter as many places as possible and I don’t want her to be frightened to travel. Hoping for something good to emerge from the craziness.

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