Thursday, July 3, 2008

Still Life Part II

Yep, I am definitely a fan of Louise Penny! She knows the human spirit, what makes us tick, what makes us good and also bad.

You might remember that I have a long commute and use the time listening to books on CD. Most of the time I enjoy the added dimension of hearing the words spoken, listening to the cadence of a well written sentence, the poetry of beautiful prose, but sometimes I wish I had the actual book in my hands. Sometimes I long to reread passages, read again and again words that speak directly to me. This book was like that. Almost everyday I would arrive home and spend an extra 30 minutes in the car rewinding, trying to find certain passages, jotting them down in my notebook. I wanted to keep those words, to read them again, to ponder over their insight, their discernment, their wisdom.

Insight, discernment and wisdom, these are unusual themes for a murder mystery story. Penny weaves these topics into her story naturally without using artificial devises. Her characters are full bodied, carefully wrought, well developed.

Upon discussing the topic of the dead woman over muffins, (remember murder mystery) the owner of the local B&B remarks after realizing he has eaten most of the muffins in his grief...

"I always eat my pain." ....Looking at the size of the man Gamache (the police detective) marveled at the size of the pain he must have, and fear perhaps, and anger. Who knows indeed?

"Life is change. If you are not growing and evolving you are standing still and the rest of the world is surging ahead........They lead still lives, waiting ....waiting for someone to save them. No one else can save them because the problem is theirs and so is the solution."

If you are looking for a good read, if you are looking for a good mystery story. if you enjoy thinking about the nature of human nature, then this is an author for you to consider.


  1. Your quotes have got me so anxious to read this. This is a great review. I have the long commutes also and I usually listen to Beth Moore, but I love mysteries and this sounds so deep. Look down at the last post on this book and you will see my reply to your info. I will try to find this book asap.

  2. I do enjoy a good mystery. This book sounds interesting. I really must find more time to read. I usually read in bed to help me fall asleep. It does help, but I sometimes have to reread the same pages the next night. I think I need a daily schedule, but what fun would that be?
    denise Happy 4th!

  3. Thanks Steviewren, the passages you quoted reminded me of one of my favourite authors, Barbara Pym. I do like the occasional murder mystery, and the cover of this book makes me want to open and peer inside.

    I need some new summer reading....

  4. I forgot to say that this author is Canadian. I enjoyed the way she mixed some Quebecois along with Anglophile comments about the differences about the two heritages. So interesting to a Southern. Like I said, I really enjoy this book.


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