Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in Gilead, in his large hands. "There is a balm in Gilead," his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, "to make the wounded whole."
While Gamache doesn't talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache's help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. "There’s power enough in Heaven," he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, "to cure a sin-sick soul." And then he gets up. And joins her.
Together with his former second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and Myrna Landers, they journey deeper and deeper into Québec. And deeper and deeper into the soul of Peter Morrow. A man so desperate to recapture his fame as an artist, he would sell that soul. And may have. The journey takes them further and further from Three Pines, to the very mouth of the great St. Lawrence river. To an area so desolate, so damned, the first mariners called it The land God gave to Cain. And there they discover the terrible damage done by a sin-sick soul.
©2014 Three Pines Creations, Inc. (P)2014 Macmillan Audio
I love this series of books. Yes, it was not as "thriller" like as the last one, but this book was about healing. I did not want this book to end as it was like being part of the group at Three Pines. If you love the characters this will not disappoint!
The Dog Mom
Louise Penny is my all time favorite author. Full stop. I absolutely love her novels. She is right above Anne Perry on the list of authors I ALWAYS read, meaning she is #1 on the list.
Her latest book, The Long Way Home, is absolutely her best ever. Just when I thought her writing couldn't get any better, it did. In fact, it didn't get marginally better; rather Penny has taken her writing to staggering new heights. If she ever needed a vehicle to establish herself as the top mystery writer in her genre, this book is it (although I'm sure she won that honor from her fans - like me - many books ago). But this book is Penny at her most creative, her most compelling, her most compassionate, her best storytelling.
There is something truly special about this story. It is complex, touching, engaging, sad and contains literally hundreds of beautiful phrases that I will always remember ("Fear comes from the head, courage from the heart. In between is the lump in the throat"). Her imagery, while always striking, is so rich and robust that the reader is right there, along with the most human of characters of any book I've ever read and a town that makes me want to pack up and move there if it really existed.
Many kudos to Mr. Cosham who transports readers with his magnificent voice to the place Penny intends us to go. His ability to bring her characters to life is nothing short of extraordinary.
If you are looking for a new author or have read Penny and could not wait for her latest book, you will be thrilled with The Long Way Home. This is a book that will stay with you for many years to come, maybe even a lifetime.
Say something about yourself!
Louise Penny knows how to transport us physically as well as mentally to places we have never been before. She is uniquely in touch with the human soul and all the anger, joy, angst, hatred, loyalty, betrayal, and love and support that we can imagine.
A very different story than her previous novels, this one is free from the tension and battles surrounding Gamache and others who were determined to ruin his life. It is a more peaceful novel in many ways, but still held my attention completely.
This story answers the questions about what happens with Peter and Clara Morrow. It starts in Three Pines with Clara confiding in Inspector Gamache, who is now retired and living in Three Pines with his wife, Reine-Marie. They take us on a journey with the help of a few other Three Pines residents through some of the earlier years of Peter's life. Art, of course, takes the stage front and center as layers are peeled back to expose the players and motives to bring us to the present. After finishing, and all was revealed, I went back to re-listen to some chapters, as I wanted to see what clues I might have missed. This is masterful storytelling!
The consistent voice of Ralph Cosham through all 10 books is just wonderful. He is the perfect narrator for this series.
Note to those who have not read any of this series--this book will not stand alone, It is the culmination of many previous books, and would probably not make much sense at all if you are not familiar with the characters. A fantastic series, it is well worth starting from the beginning and listening straight through to this one.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
When I started this listen, I had huge expectations because the series to this point only got better and better. After the last book's major crescendo, I couldn't imagine how Penny could come back with another story for Gamache that would be the same caliber. I was even concerned that Penny could stop writing, and the series could stand well where it ended with Book 9.
I under-estimated how brilliant Penny is. The only change I saw was that this book starts with Gamache now living in Three Pines. No change with familiar characters' personalities that have remained consistent over the entire series. I was laughing with real joy to have my friends back.
One thing I loved about this particular book, as Gamache and his team research and travel to solve the mystery, I was able to do the same on the internet. It expanded my understanding of the story in a fun way. I felt I was part of the team.
Thank you, Louise Penny, I am grateful for your books. This is why I read.
This is one of the two best audiobooks I have listened to, for both the story and the narration.
The fact that it is so much more than just a mystery. It made me laugh; it made me cry; it made me think.
As always, Inspector Gamache was my favorite. I'd love to meet him.
The ending, which I won't reveal.
No. I'm not sure how to write a review for this without giving away details of the plot. The story was incredibly slow, and the ending didn't make up for it. There were elements and plot lines introduced that at first seemed like they would add interest to the mystery but they were never resolved.
It's possible, but not likely. The story was too slow, the mystery was boring, and the main female character was so frustrating that I didn't care whether or not her mystery was solved.
It's possible, but not likely. It took a long time for me to become acclimated to his voice. It's nasally, monotone, and his accent makes him hard to understand at first.
Absolutely not. I could have read this book in a fourth of the time it took me to listen to it and that still would have been too much time invested in this story.
Without giving away the plot, the resolution to the mystery was so unbelievable with the technology that was available that it actually made me angry.
I have to agree with another reviewer that this story is rather disappointing in comparison to earlier works. Without the dynamic of Gamache battling an evil superior, the author is left trying to infuse tension and for me it failed. The story focus itself will probably appeal more to women than men. Sorry to sound a certain male bias, but the terms Venus and Mars come to mind. I love the author's earlier works and the voice talent is splendid, but I was cringing at the obvious ending and the overall focus on feelings rather than any type of real suspense.
I think this is the weakest of the series. Slow and slower. Penny's books get into trouble when she leaves "Three Pines". I can't tell you how many times I fell asleep listening to this book. I adore the characters and only kept listening to be with them. Ruth would have tossed this book in the fireplace after the third chapter!
I have long been a Louise Penny fan, although Ralph Cosham's superb narration has as much to do with that as the writing, perhaps even more. I admit to a growing weariness of the continued plot-line of "Conspiracies and Plots Against Gamache and Beyond", and was delighted when the resolution of that particular thread was resolved. It seemed that at long last we could get back to Three Pines and the gang, with a tantalizing mystery attached to a solid resolution as in Still Life and The Cruelest Month. Alas, it was not to be. An unbelievably far-fetched (farcical?) murder method, gratuitous violence which infuriated me, and an ending that had me feeling like I was watching a shell game (This! No, that! No, the other!) left an overall - and deep - disappointment. Guess I'll just have to go back and read the first few - excellent - books. Bummer!
Books-I stash them like I stash my yarn or my fabric. I used to have piles of books. Now they go where I go-in my back pocket--on the ipod
I love this series. From the first sentence in the first book "Still Life" to the last sentence in this book has been a journey that was worth every step and the hours of listening. Each book digs deeper and deeper into the humaness of each character, their joy and their pain. Penny's artistry is in her ability to breathe life into each character throughout the series. When you find a little of yourself in Gamache, Jean-Guy, Clara, Reine-Marie, or Myrna. But these are only some of the myriad of characters that leap off the page, or materialize in from of your face. Louise Penny helps you understand yourself a little bit more. Ralph Cosham, is nothing short of brilliant in his ability to tell a great story. Listen to each book. If this is your first introduction to Inspector Gamache, begin with Still Life--you will not regret it.
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