Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In Gamache We Trust: Review of HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Louise Penny

Second day of posting the same image! I just love this cover.

So, I read it.

HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Louise Penny, Inspector Gamache Series #9.

After waiting patiently for many months, following a heart-wrenching cliffhanger at the end of THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY, I finally got to dive back into this captivating world.

And let me tell you, it was worth the wait.

And let me tell you WHY it was worth the wait.


Trust in Gamache--steady, gracious, loyal, brilliant inspector.

Trust in Louise Penny--amazingly-talented author who elevates the common mystery into something incredible.

Trust in the story arc. That it won't get lost, go too far, string out the reader and leave us hanging. Again.

Trust in Three Pines. A magical town in Canada, with secrets and fears and love and steaming cups of hot chocolate. And friendship. And courage.

Once again, Penny has woven two storylines together...the mystery and the overlying story arc which has haunted Gamache for a very long time. The story arc that has built so much tension and worry for the readers, we wondered how Penny would ever resolve this conflict without devastation. Without death. Without tragedy.

Well, I think that Louise Penny has a romantic soul. Because she has managed to wrap up a seemingly impossible problem in the most wonderful, hopeful, optimistic...and romantic way possible. And I'm not talking about romance between a man and woman. I'm talking about romance in the larger sense of the word. Someone who believes in goodness and light and happy endings.

To be honest, I almost felt the mystery portion of this book to be a bit of a distraction. The overlying story arc was so powerful and intense, it overshadowed everything else. But the mystery also mirrored the same issues of lies, deceit, greed, and power that play into the larger picture.

I finished this book with tears on my face, and utter satisfaction. And two other things that always happen when I finish one of her books.

One, an appreciation for simple moments and the simple things in life. The beauty of fresh snow, the lusciousness of home-made stew, a feather mattress on a bed, sharing a glass of scotch with a friend. There is something so very appealing and lovely about Three Pines, it inspires me no end.

And finally, as a writer, I always finish one of Louise Penny's books and sigh with pleasure. And a newly found vigor to hone my craft, tell a story, become the best writer I can be.

I really don't care if you love romance, YA, literary fiction, biographies, poetry, horror. If you have never read a mystery in your life, I implore you to embrace Penny's Gamache series. STILL LIFE is #1.

Penny has created an incredibly seductive world, filled with beautiful prose, quiet moments, stunning revelations, and a reminder of the strength of the human spirit.

Grade: A

Blissfully, blissfully happy,