LOUISE PENNY’S

The Bistro

The Bistro

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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.

Discussion on “The Bistro”

Barbara, you gave me a shoulder pumping up and down belly laugh with your scream post and that you were so frustrated you reverted to using your native language – y’all! Not so in my case.
Technically, Spanish is my native language. But we (parents and brother) moved to the States when I was almost three. I was already speaking, but my parents moved in with mom’s mom. I liked watching her cook. But she would hurt herself many times while cooking and would let out a bad word in Spanish then spin around look at me straight in the eyes and say, “Don’t say that!” To this day, I can’t bring myself to curse in Spanish. I’m ever so grateful to Louise for introducing me to ‘merde’! 😉

But then as I read your next post referring to my saying my mom was technology savvy and asking ‘Guess who else isn’t,’ had me spurt the sip of tea all over my iPad screen! “Oh, shit, merde, merde!” Poor Hubby came running thinking I had hurt myself. But when he saw me trying to swallow while giggling he just said, “The Bistro,” and as my head bobbed up and down, he handed me a towel and turned around and went back to packing for his next trip. Im not sure how much help I’d be since my PC is so old it still uses, barely, Windows XP and I’m trying to learn Mac, but I’ll give it a go tomorrow. Hubby won’t be home, so I’ll sneak in his office and see if I can figure it out.
Two Christmasses ago hubby got both me and my mom identical iPads so I could walk her through stuff. I still can’t get her to understand that telling me ‘it’s on the Pad’ isn’t very helpful. She doesn’t get it that every app is like a different older in a file drawer. Her response is usually, “Well I’m not good at organizing papers either!” Sad, but true. Merde!
Till tomorrow.
I hope.
I still have to make airline and hotel reservations, find out the address where the books are shipped, order the books, find my credit card reader, set it up for her bank account… There is no way she could have done all this prep work by herself. She’s still in a bit of overwhelm from being dad’s caregiver for so long. So if if I don’t respond quickly with what I’ve promised, it not for lack of caring. I’ve been so busy!

Yes, Julie, she’s taking me along then she’ll stay here for almost two weeks, and finally meet her other two great granddaughters plus see a rocket launch from our back yard, if they don’t delay it for technical or weather reasons.

Yes, apples, apples, apples! It was a fun recurring theme and reminded me of the zucchini, tomatoes, and monarda in Still Life. People locking their doors to keep neighbors from dropping off baskets at harvest time.

SPOILER ALERT
I have wondered if the arrogant agent will become the new Jean Guy, someone for either Gamache or Jean Guy to train and save from himself.
I am counting on Adam Cohen’s continued presence and importance. I think (hope!) that Louise has plans for him and for revealing more about him and his character. She seemed to be hinting at that. He seems to have the potential for greatness.

Thanks for the good wishes. They have been a help as I navigate difficult waters.
I made use of the Bistro and the support there even before my last post, knowing it was filled with peace and calm and positive thoughts.

Millie, I was so happy to hear your news! Congratulations to your mother and to you for your important part in it all. I hope you both have a wonderful time.

Hear hear Barbara. I think we all want snotty arrogant agents to see the tight end of Gamache discipline. He would not be harsh but he would demand standards

I don’t remember all that I had written but here goes another try.
SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT
Julie, I felt the same about Adam Cohen.
I hated that agent treating Gamache as he did at the crime scene. Of course, there were cadets being trained while the corruption was running rampant in the Surete. I want Gamache, through influence or position, to complete the job of repairing the Surete.

By the way Barbara, last time I looked Jason Day was playing well. Nice for him to be on a bit of a roll. Speaking of which its back to my book….it’s getting exciting and I honestly, and I mean that, have no real idea what is happening next. That’s why writing the first draft can be so much fun!

He has had a good year. I hope he continues to play well.
Sam’s Lions Club has its annual golf tournament/fundraiser next month. Sam doesn’t play often so he doesn’t want to play in the Tournament. He and some of the other members are assigned to work certain holes. They have a good time and raise an amazing amount of money.
Miss Fisher’s Murder mysteries started a new season. I do enjoy that show. Those clothes are a dream.

Ok. Well Millie is the expert in guiding people through computers. If you have a PC then I am guessing you have Word. I am all Mac now.
Miiiilllllliiiiiieeeeee….can you help!?

Anna, you gave me a laugh. The problem is I don’t know how to use Documents or Cut and Paste. I read the book on the previous laptop. I am going to buy one probably “Windows 8 for Dummies”. Millie mentioned that her Mother was not technologically savvy. Let’s guess who else isn’t.
Lovely suggestion…….Um, where is that vase?

SPOiLeR ALERT

That scene you describe with Adam went through my head exactly Julie. I did not want to turn the page in case it came true. One little mistake he made….not even a mistake exactly. As you say it was in a time of intense pressure and Adam is young and has minimal experience really. I was having flashbacks to a previous book. Life in the Three Pines world is not always kind to the young and fresh faced.

The other thing you can do is press post comment after a few lines so you know they are safely off and write the rest in a new post ala my little demonstration. Anything to stop the screaming but I am quite fond of your Southern accent so use that happily any time! Is it time for a vase of bourbon and branch to settle your nerves cause you have to write that long post….I am now intensely curious as to what it said!

The best thing To do when writing a long post is to type it in a document like Word or Pages and cut and paste it over here. I am guilty of not doing that as I like to scroll up and down and check I responded to everything.

This page is such an entertaining read! Sorry about the post Barbara. How many times have I done that! It was just the way you put it….sorry about the scream…..I think I heard you from here!

The Scream everyone just heard was mine. I hit Post and mine disappeared. It had taken about 30 or so minutes and addressed many posts y’all had made. Now I’ve lapsed into southern speech with a capital S. Oh well, in times of stress people do revert to their first language.

SPOILER ALERT Ohhhhh – I let that comment “We’ll see” go right by. Yet, of course, it means something! I was just thinking that he meant that he’d be able to influence how things would go for that officer, but I think you’re right… He’s at least considering doing something…

So often, for me, “What’s Next” has an exasperated quality – like the last straw being bundled on my back – I need to get back to thinking of it as a good thing.

Millie – will you be going to the book fair, as well? How fun will that be? I just love that you are helping your mom with all the paperwork and the ins and outs of things. I, too, understood the blank look – not because I switch between languages like you, but because I switch between left and right brain activities very reluctantly. I can be immersed in design work, and Vern will say something and I haven’t got a clue what he’s said. Luckily for me, I can “see” the words hanging in the air, and as long as it wasn’t a long, rambling sentence, I can stop, switch gears, and still hear it and respond. He’s gotten used to the fact that he can say something to me, and that I WILL answer, but it will be about a 30-second delay. All the while, I think I must look like there is absolutely nothing between my ears, hahaha.

Millie – get lots of rest, and you will be unstoppable at this! (The becoming a morning person I recognize – it gets harder and harder for me to make it to morning appointments, but every once in awhile I have to. Not fun.)

Cathryne, So glad you could stop by. I’m sorry your Mother is in a bad spot now. We know those times come when we are caregivers, but that doesn’t make it easier. One of my problems was that I could not accept my inability to “Make everything right”. It hurts so much to want to help those we love by taking away health problems, but we can’t. I, like others here, understand what you are going through. I send you strength, physical and mental, and the reminder that we can only do our best even though it seems insufficient sometimes.
Stop by when you can. We care.

When I saw that Gamache was reading TKAM, I, too, wondered if it had been added at least after all the hoopla over GSAW. Love to know what Louise thinks about that. I saw Gamache, as he looked at the small bookcase, choosing a book to read, as having it filled with touchstone books – those that helped him remain centered and good. In a world swirling with evil, to be able to go, even for a few minutes, to a place where goodness is so prevalent, where things are black and white (no pun intended), must be so important to him.

Oh, so many thoughts running through my head. Yes, when Gamache’s name is revealed to Fleming, I think that’s absolutely a clue that he will be back. I hope that poor little Adam Cohen isn’t caught in the cross-fire. as even though he made a mistake, it was an honest mistake made when he was frightened half to death! I was so worried that the next scene was going to show us Cohen dead by the side of the road, his car and Fleming missing… duh duh duh…

I missed the apple thing, and considering the apple’s place in the whole good and evil landscape, you’d think I’d have noticed. Now I have to read the whole book again, hahaha.

Love it when wonderful things happen Millie and you and your mum deserve a whole lot of wonderful. You have become your mum’s PA and I bet buckets you are being amazing so big pat on the back or BZ, that’s a Bravo Zulu in the Navy and means well done. I know communication between men and women can be tricky but I laughed at your description of the blank look….what is he saying, I could hear you thinking. I do that a lot with my husband and I am not bilingual!

SPOILER ALERT

Good point with Gamache’s comment. It is exciting to think of the possibilities in everyone’s lives right now. “What next” might become my new mantra because it embodies the idea that we have done something, achieved something and we are looking with relish to the challenge to come. I don’t always face the future that way, covers over the head comes to mind. But I will endeavor to be stronger. You would be with Gamache by your side.

Why I’ve been too busy to participate: do you all remember my younger son, his wife and I helped my mom self publish a little book of her poems last year? She’s been invited to participate in an International Book Fair at the Institute of Fine Arts in Puerto Rico next month and she wants me to go with her! Just the impetus she needed to help her fill in the ‘What Next’ in her life! So I’ve been doing all the requisite paperwork for registration and publicity and catalogues for her. A more techno phobic person than mom would be hard to find! Lol What a lot of emails- and in Spanish! Funny, I used to be able to mentally switch between the two without skipping a beat. During one instance, I was typing away in Spanish when my hubby said something in English and I just stared at him blankly. I feel I know the coordinators like great friends now. They have been so gracious, kind and patient. This is all uncharted territory for me! No wonder Louise has an assistant! LOL…

Cathryne: So good to see you pop in and say hi. I do hope you are able to get someone to give you a bit of ‘time off’ from caregiver duty. My mom couldn’t because, unlike Louise’s Michael, dad was paranoid of anyone he didn’t know… The emotional demands can be more exhausting than the physical. Rest all you can. Big hug from me to you.
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SPOILER ALERT
Re: What’s next for Gamache? There were many mentions of his conversing with his ‘friend’ at CSIS in Quebec… But in chapter8, during the section when the new Sûreté agent sent to guard the crime scene is belligerent towards Gamache and finally says he doesn’t have to take orders from him, Gamache says, “We’ll see!” That just jumped out at me as a possible What Next for Gamache. Wish I could write more but unlike Anna (waving to you across land and sea but too tired to write a separate note right now), and much more like Julie, I can only really concentrate on one thing at a time. And I must practice becoming a ‘morning person’ for the book fair. Heaven help me! Lol…

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