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.
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.
3,639 replies on “The Bistro”
Sense of place… I really liked your last paragraph about it, Julie. “…it’s the people that make me feel safe and ‘right with the world’.”
For me, now, it’s my husband. Unfortunately, he’s been having to travel a lot lately so my ‘world’ doesn’t always feel ‘right’. It was different when our sons were younger, still lived at home and I lived only a few miles from mom and dad and extended family and I was very involved in our little community before having to move to FL… But that’s not my ‘place’ anymore. It amazes me when I go back and there are no longer any familiar landmarks.
I was having a conversation with one of our sons a few weeks ago. He stopped by and I started to apologize I still had so many boxes of my beloved books to unpack… He is so wise. He took my hand and said, “mom, in the last three years you’ve lost a lot of family and friends, found out dad had cancer (he’s fine now, all gone), had the house turned upside down because of a water pipe leak, found out your hip was all out of whack and still did all you could to keep us all feeling loved and welcome while being a long distance care giver for your mom taking care of your dad. Maybe you’re just afraid that if you tackle the last bit, ‘bad’ things will start happening all over again?”
I hadn’t connected those things quite that way, but since the tears started flowing I was pretty sure he hit the nail on the head. I find it interesting and baffling that the hardest thing for me to tackle now are my books, some of which have been with me since childhood. They always gave me comfort, gave me a sense of continuity, of ‘sense of place’ no matter what the address. (Let me make real clear that my LP books are indeed out. 😉
It’s all so overwhelming some days I just want to hide in the only room that wasn’t touched by the ‘flooding’ – our bed room. There’s no phone, no TV, just quiet and peace. But life keeps happening whether I stay there all day or not so I force myself up and keep trying to feel I belong in my own house… Because if it IS fear holding me back (though to cut myself some bit of slack, getting my hips & spine back aligned has been a painful process and I’ve been faithfully doing my exercises nonetheless) then I just have to dig deeper and just get on with it!
I do want to add that through all this, there was ‘the Bistro’! Even if I only went there in my mind, it was a ‘safe place’ where I found peace when I had to walk past the ‘untidy’ rooms of the house. A ‘place’ I could just ‘be’ and not have ‘to do’ what my body surely wasn’t ready to tackle yet. Time to move on like Clara & Gamache… But that’s another topic.
Millie – my goodness, you’ve had so much going on in the past few years – if it were me, I wouldn’t have anything done at all! I wonder if it would “work” if you had someone else who could tackle that last job for you and get your books all set up. You’d just come into a room one day and it would be done – nothing more hanging over your head, and you could just sit down and read something that’s been packed away for a long time…
That is a brilliant idea Julie!
Hello Cathryne and Barbara. Thanks for the ‘welcome back to posting’, because as you said, Barbara, I stopped by in my heart a lot. I can tell I have a lot to catch up on. Not sure what is wrong with your sister but I hope she knows how lucky she is to have your company. Depression can be so hard to come out of… I’ve been fighting not falling head first into that deep hole. Getting out of bed is the hardest. When I manage that, I know I still can find my way through the rest of the day. I wish your sister much peace and recovery.
Thanks for your good words, Millie. My sister is still depressed over her husband’s death in 2012. She, like Mother and I, has struggled with lifelong depression.
I am always happy to see someone overcome that awful foe.
Hi Barbara. It’s always lovely to hear from you. I am so sorry your sister is struggling although it sounds as though your family has experience with the Black Dog. As Millie says she is lucky to have you. I wish you both well and hope that the change of seasons lifts the spirits a little. I think we have talked before about sensitive, intelligent natures that feel so deeply. Depression can be part of that too. Feelings can be so overwhelming.
The following is a link to an article on Giftedness and depression in adults. It is really interesting and practical. I like that book clubs are part of the suggested help points! Millie, you will get a lot from this too.
I just lost a lengthy post – don’t know how. I’ll try again.
Hi to ALL. CONGRATULATIONS to Anna. I’m so happy for you.
I’m glad you were able to comfort Millie and to help her to return to posting. I won’t say “return to the Bistro” as she did visit. I drop in a couple of times a day to see what is going on.
I’m still reading the Peter Robinson series. Hillary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies were good reads too. I read them to prepare for the airing of Wolf Hall on PBS.
Started C. J. Sansom’s latest…Lamentation. I don’t like it as well as his previous books in the series. I’ll continue it anyway. Maybe I’ve read enough of Henry VIII’s reign for a while.
I set the free promotion but the earliest I could set it was for the 26th which is Thursday. Just keep an eye out and see if it comes up earlier or wait for Thursday. It will run for three days. Apologies but I am still sorting the edit issue. I will try before Thursday but it might not be fixed. The main problem is spaces between paragraphs and the Table of Contents won’t work. It’s perfectly readable but not perfect!
We have talked before about the power of a place, like Three Pines, and how we would love to go there. Sense of place is a theme I keep coming back to and would love to explore more.
What makes a place important to you? Is it the physical space, is it the people, is it a sense of belonging and contentment? In your lives right now, where is it that makes you feel safe?
The sense of place theme is well worth examining. I mentioned to my sister this past weekend that I feel so relaxed, safe, secure and loved sitting on the sofa with my feet propped up in her family room. I still spend Sat afternoon and night with her. She is trying to come out of her depression and is making some progress I think. I’m almost afraid to hope.
A sense of belonging and contentment are dear and treasured emotions.
The little reading room at my branch library was a special place for a long time. Being surrounded by books in an 1850’s house with librarians who were also friends gave me the special feelings of belonging and safety.
I would love to visit your library Barbara. Being surrounded by books is very much how I feel safe.
So interesting – the power of place. My parents were nomads, and probably what you’d call “free spirits” today, though there was no thought of that kind of thing when they were young with their family to take care of. It’s not, actually, an ideal trait in a parent, hahaha. At any rate, we moved so often that I don’t cling to places, per se, but things that remind me of peaceful, happy times in my childhood. So often, it’s the quality of light that happens when the seasons change – I can tell within a couple of days if it’s near the end of August or of February without ever having a calendar, I’m sure. Both of those times, the afternoon light is magical to me, somehow. One shows promise of spring and renewal, while the other hints of darker days and cooler days. Yet, somehow, to me, they are both equally peaceful.
I recently went “home”. My older brother has never moved away from the last town we lived in with my parents – Thunder Bay, Ontario. It’s the kind of place most of us couldn’t wait to grow up and get away from, haha. He asked the family to get together for his 50th wedding anniversary, so my younger brother, who lives in Toronto, and I met up and went together. We rented a car and drove around looking at the places we knew when were younger, and I did feel some kind of pull. It was fun to see the town, and feel how small it seemed in comparison to my memories. And it was really great to see my brother, his family, and especially his friends, who are the same friends he had when he was a teenager. All the older boys I had crushes on, with their wives and children. Almost as if the town had been going on all along without me, hahahaha.
But for me, I think, mostly it’s people who make me feel safe and “right with the world”. It could be anywhere, but if I have those I love around me, it’s perfect.
I love the change of seasons too Julie. Right now the Autumn light is stunning. It softens after the glare of summer and highlights the red and gold in the changing leaves.
We have moved a lot in recent years and I have been wondering what I search for in each new place. Is it physical or emotional. I think there is a combination of factors that tie me to a place. I love our home right now and find great comfort in different rooms in different times. The library with its books and the front room with its fire and its views.
But people definitely make a place too. We have created a lovely virtual place and I absolutely feel a sense of arrival when I am here.
Australia is very much about sense of place. The original Australians have so much invested in the land itself. Their dwellings tended to be more of a temporary nature as they moved about, but the land they moved across was their home. A bit nomadic like you Julie! These days, it is very normal to have an Aboriginal a Welcome to Country at the start of official functions, including school assemblies.
Hi Cathryne! It’s so nice to talk to everyone. The Bistro is buzzing again.
I took a friend to the Bookstore this morning and showed her Still Life. She has gone off to become a new Louise Penny Fan. I know she will be because she said she wanted a book to be engrossed in, where she would come to love and care about the characters. That is a Three Piner for sure!
We need to get that buzz going again in anticipation. I personally can’t wait for the next trip to Three Pines.
Anna, l got your book last night and jumped right in. There is no way I would have waited for Wednesday. I was especially tired but kept reading and reading until I came to the part that told me, ” This is where you stop for today.” It was so lovely I went right to sleep and woke smiling. I’m very busy today but somehow content to stay where I am in the book until I can return without too many interruptions. Where I stopped was the end of chapter 4, probably not a big surprise to you.
Oops, I’m late, hello to Millie and Peg, not heard from for so long.
Thank you for the welcome back hug. A big ((hug)) right back at you. It is nice to be back. Many a night, I imagined myself in the comfort of the Bistro’s fire with a cup of tea or cocoa… Anna right there with me. She indeed has a very big heart! And her talent as a story teller is as big as her heart. She said the book wouldn’t have happened without me… All I did was tell her to follow her heart! But like you, Julie, I didn’t want to wait till it was free. She took the time to find websites that many of us found so helpful… My small way of saying thank you.
But I can understand why: this is Louise’s Bistro, after all. But in a way it is ours also and August, and Louise’s next book seems so far away for us who love to read. I can honestly say I’ve read some ‘so called’ best sellers I did not even like. The Cove really is a wonderful read. But I’ll stop singing its praises before she thinks that I think she asked me to pop in just to promote her book. Not at all. In her wisdom, she knew it was time for me to come out of my protective cocoon and rejoin the world of the living in a safe place. Here!
There is something magical about this space – thank you Paul for keeping the doors unlocked. 🙂
Millie you make me blush!
I am just so glad you are here and feeling up to chatting. And like you I thank Paul for making this space. Without the Bistro and everyone I seriously doubt my book would exist. But like I was saying, the book is just a representation of doing “something”. Humans are not meant to dwell in isolation. We have the need to be in contact with others even in small ways. That support can be vital especially when times are challenging.
I hope everyone has survived the difficult North American winter. Come out of hibernation in notification of a new Three Pines adventure only a few months away. Time for the speculation to commence.
With many apologies to Julie who bought it, I think I can run a free promotion on the book for a couple of days. I will do that on Wednesday North America time. Just keep an eye out for when it goes free. There canbe a delay between when I set it up and when it happens.
Anna, that sounds great! I will be watching for it. The Amazon writeup sounds quite intriguing. Then of course we need to give it honest reviews to help promote it.
Thank you Peg. If you read it and feel it warrants comment then by all means I would love a review.
I wrote the book because I had a story in my head that wouldn’t go away, characters that just kept asking to be heard. I know many people have things they have always wanted to do, write a book was mine. I have done it. Everything else is cream. In all honesty, I doubt I would have even put it out there if it wasn’t for everyone here being so kind and encouraging. I just wanted to share with you as a way of thanks.
If you have things you want to do, can I just encourage you all to have a go. Life is too short to wonder whether you can, just do. In some wys I think that was the lesson in Louise’s last book. Both Armand and Clara were stuck moving forward in their own ways. While the outcomes were unexpected, they had to find a way to move.
I will get that free thing happening.
Anna, I wouldn’t think of taking a cup of coffee for the price of the book! It was very reasonable, and I was proud to be among the first buyers! I’d love it if I was first! 😀 I am just so proud of you for doing this and learning all the new things you had to learn just to get the book up there! So far, I’ve only dipped my toe in, as I was busy all day yesterday and looks like I’ll be gone a lot of today, too. I’ve been away on a trip to Williamsburg, VA, and coming home means tons of things left undone. Hubby lives like a bear with furniture when I’m gone, so there was no food left in the house, a big mess left after he “cleaned up”, etc. I should be back to normal soon, though, and I’ll be delving into it immediately! So far, though, I’m loving the atmosphere you’ve set!
You were definitely among the first Julie. I think my husband might have been the absolute first. He is in Hawaii this week.
The book will wit for you to get your life in order! I do know what you mean about some men left to their own devices.
I am enjoying the Bistro coming to life a bit. It has been a bit quiet as we hold our breath in anticipation of the next Louise book. I have introduced a few people to Louise lately. Can you believe one is going to finish her first Penny before she reads my book!! Yeah ok. I can believe it.
Hi Millie. Welcome back. So glad you dropped in. Thank you for reading my book. It wouldn’t have happened without you.
Been at work. Now with mum. Oh dear. She wants her mother. That’s a tricky one
Hello dear ones. Anna and I kept in touch via email through one of the most difficult times of my life and helped me stay sane – my dad passed away mid December from complications of his dementia. But she encouraged me yesterday to pop to the Bistro again. “Holy Cow!” 🙂 There are 19 pages of posts. I need to catch up before contributing again but I’m so happy she nudged me, ever so gently, to ‘return to the fold’.
I must say I found her book, devoured it (because who needs sleep, right?) and will say I truly loved it. Wonderful twists and turns with lots to ponder. Wonderfully done.
Maybe I will contribute something to the LP new book synopsis. Please forgive me if someone already mentioned it already, but I wondered just the other night if the ‘child’ might be Bean???
Millie! (((((((((((((((Hugs)))))))))))))) I’m so sorry you have been going through such troubles and yet, also glad you had Anna to talk to. It makes such a big difference. I think our Anna has a very big heart!
I never thought of Bean, and I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned it – if so, I’ve put it out of my mind, hahaha. It’s been very quiet here in the Bistro, but I check in every day, and there’s often one or two comments a week right now. I think as we get closer to Louise’s next, it will pick up again.
Dear Millie…So sorry to hear about your Dad. I still miss mine and it has been 15 years next month.
Anna is a remarkable person. I appreciate the websites she connected me to also. I have missed your insights and comments. I wish I could express the depth of my feelings for those I have met here. As I mentioned before, it is not at all like me to participate in an online site. I only dared step in because I love LP’s books so much.
I’m so glad you are up to joining us here again in the Bistro. It is a very special place where warm, caring friends meet to enjoy each other’s company, celebrate good things and always offer words of support and encouragement.
Welcome back as I send caring thoughts to you.
Wow Julie, thank you. if you don’t like it I will buy you a cup of coffee by repayment! I can see my family today making the decision….do I buy coffee or Anna’s book? If I scrape up the change on the car floor or behind the lounge I can do both. I will know family!
For every one else, I think I can make it free for a short period…..sorry Julie. I have to go to work so I will figure that tonight. The formatting didn’t work as well I would like nor the hyperlinks from the Table of Contents. I did follow all the suggestions but it happens. I will work on that.
Momentous news. The book, I mean my book, has been sent to Kindle and will go live in 12-24 hours. I couldn’t figure out how to make it free. I also don’t want to hijack this site at all as this is Louise’s Bistro. But it was because of Louise and all of you that the book came into being and so I want you to be able to see it if you wish.
Its called The Cove. I will try and figure out how to make it free and let you know if I can.
Thank you all. This is a big and scary day. If you do read it please be kind. It feels like a small and vulnerable child that I have produced.
Oh, how excited you must be, Anna! Sending your child off into the big world is scary, but I’m sure it will turn out so very well for you. I’m heading off to look for it now…
It’s there, it’s there! I’ve got it on my Kindle now… can’t wait to read it. Why do I have to have so many errands today? Rats, hahaha.
Thank you Paul. You can take a lot of credit. The book club and the Bistro were the main reason it happened. Of course Louise inspired all but we are so grateful for what you have made happen. Did you know you would be changing lives? Well you have. Hugs for you in a big way Paul.
And science confirms what you already knew. Well done.
I am making a big push to finish my book edit. I am not just teasing. I should have news for you soon. This is very nerve wracking but exciting. My daughter designed the book cover for me. I am working out how to hyperlink chapter headings to the table of contents! I have to develop many new talents.
I know lots of you are into knitting and needlework etc. thought you might like this, proof all those activities are good for you. Well, I am sure you knew that but here is an even greater excuse to put down that dishcloth and take out the knitting needles.
Oh, I KNEW I was doing something right, hahaha. Though I don’t knit, I do lots of other needlework. I’ve actually heard that knitting can put you in a Zen state because once you really get into a rhythm, you can free your mind for other things…
The audio books are available on Amazon to buy as CDs. Any computer device can dowload the Kindle software for free and you can then buy Kindle books if you need to. It is useful if you are traveling or need to enlarge the font size. You can also download Audible from Amazon. It’s a subscription service but you can purchase audio books through it and cancel the subscription at any time. These are just some options to keep in mind.
Most of us love having print copies of Louise’s books but it isn’t always practical. I became interested in her books while on a cruise ship and the little shop on board didn’t stock her books. They did have Internet so I was able to buy the Kindle versions. I obviously have no will power because I coul not wait to keep reading!
Hi, Sonia – welcome! I think that all of Louise’s books are available on tape, all with the same great voice speaking them. Sadly, Ralph Cosham passed away late last year, so a new actor is being sought to read the books now. I know that others have mentioned how beautifully he read the books – I haven’t heard them myself. But you ought to be able to find them all so far, very readily. They are wonderful, aren’t they?
I have enjoyed the 6 out of all the Three Pines books, they have not been in sequence. My first one was “How the light gets in” and it got me hooked. I find the books interesting and really love the comedic dialogues. I would like to see all of them on books on tape, it is easier for some of us. I do not do Kindle so the actual DVDs are great. Keep writing them.
There are a lot of links to different videos and this audio on Louise’s website as well. I always find her a joy to listen to, very practical and down to earth, very us and so inspirational. More so because she doesn’t set out to be, she doesn’t hail herself as a guru. She is simply a thoughtful and remarkable person.
I am not sure if we have had this link before, and hopefully it works, but it is an audio interview with Louise. I hadn’t listened to it previously and I apologise if someone else posted it and this is a repeat but it had loads of insight into her work. Maybe the newbies or floaters who visit will enjoy too.
Thanks, Anna – this was very interesting. It also opened up a You-tube page with lots and lots of interviews and things with Louise, that I will have to work my way through. The speakers on my computer are terrible, so often I can’t hear them properly, but there are a few that are plenty loud enough, and this was one!