Wednesday 7 October 2015

If you love Mr. Darcy, you will like Armand Gamache

Book Review: Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

This is the third Armand Gamache book I've read and they just keep getting better.  It struck me at the end of the book that Armand Gamache, the Chief Inspector of the Surete, with his heroic actions and gentlemanly qualities could be an older, modern Mr. Darcy.
Cover from
 Like Mr. Darcy, Gamache is a leader among his peers.  People around Quebec recognize him as a respectable, intelligent man.  He works hard and takes care of those beneath him.  However, unlike Darcy, he seems slow to judge others and has a genuine interest in meeting new people, no matter what their background or circumstances.  Like Darcy, he has a tender affection for his wife of many years and goes to her for advice and support.  It's the future relationship I think most Austen readers imagine for Elizabeth and Darcy at the end of Pride and Prejudice.

Darcy and Elizabeth by Hugh Thomson, 1894 on wikipedia
 Penny's writing continues to amaze me in Bury Your Dead.  Three mysteries are woven together in this novel.  My dissatisfaction with the ending of her previous book, The Brutal Telling, was not unwarranted.  In an unprecedented move, Penny continues the mystery from that book into this one.  My feelings of unease and sadness at the end of The Brutal Telling were somewhat appeased at the end of Bury your Dead.
I was somewhat disoriented at the beginning of Bury Your Dead in that there are some major events which happen between this book and the previous.  I thought I had missed one in between.  However, this back story is later revealed throughout the book.

This was also the first book I've read that wasn't set primarily in Three Pines.  Penny does a wonderful job of describing Quebec City in the dead of winter.  Like her descriptions of Three Pines, I almost feel I've been there.  She also did a stellar job of explaining the complicated history of Quebec and its tenuous relationship with the rest of Canada.

I can't recommend Louise Penny highly enough and I am grateful to my good friends Sally and Deanna for sharing her with me!

No comments:

Post a Comment