Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Still Life by Louise Penny

Being a reader, I seek out other readers.  Sometimes we share the same taste in books and sometimes we don't.  I have a very dear friend and she has gushed and gushed to me about Louise Penny.  She has been reading the Inspector Gamache novels for a long while and has been telling me how much I will love them.  I will say that by the last third of the book, I couldn't put it down, but for me Still Life  by Louise Penny had a slow start. 

Still Life  is set in a very small village, Three Pines, outside of Montreal.  The inhabitants of Three Pines are shocked when an elderly woman whom everyone in town loves is found dead in the woods.  Is it a hunting accident or something more frightening?  Chief Inspector Gamache is determined to find out. 

Perhaps I wasn't in the right frame of mind to read this book, perhaps it is because mysteries and crime fiction aren't really my favorite genre, perhaps it takes more than one novel in this series to become attached to the characters, either way it took me a long time to get into this book and to be able to remember which character was which.  I was pleased to see that the author's website offers a pronunciation guide for the many French words and names included in the books as well as a good deal more information.  While I didn't enjoy this book as much as I had hoped I would, there were, several quotes I particularly appreciated.

Clara, on how much she loves her husband Peter:  "Clara would wake up and watch while he slept, and want to crawl inside his skin and wrap herself around his heart and keep him safe."

Jane quoting the poet W. H. Auden:  "Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table."

And finally, Inspector Gamache paraphrasing Abbie Hoffman, "Abbie Hoffman said we should all eat what we kill.  That would put an end to war."

Still Life is the first in a series which so far includes eight books.  I would like to try reading the next one to see if it will grip me like it has done my dear friend, but I think I'll give it a little while.  So many books, so little time.

1 comment:

Amy said...

This one did start off slowly, but I love the way she writes. I know this isn't your genre, but thank you for trying it for my sake, I appreciate it!