Saturday, September 4, 2010

Book Review - Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

Bury Your Dead is a masterpiece!  You know I have loved the Chief Inspector Gamache series.  This latest installment is far and away her best work yet!  Building upon characters and cultures and plots from the past Louise Penny takes us on a most marvelous journey.

How thankful I am to have been to the Townships along the Vermont border.  How wonderful that I've spent time walking the narrow streets within the old walled Quebec City.  For me this was a nostalgic, enriching, enlightening refresher on our wonderful experiences there.   While for you, should it be that you've not been to those places, it will be a fine primer in preparation for what ought to be a foremost destination on your bucket list.

So much history.  So much tragedy.  So much triumph.  So much culture.  Quebec is rich, inviting, enchanting and Louise Penny has captured it all.  Add to that the elaborate, credible, triple plot and you have, to my mind, one of the best books of fiction ever written.  I expect it to stand as a favorite for the balance of my life.  I am in awe of the author's elaborate, deep, heartfelt understanding of human nature and motive.  I cannot read her work without understanding myself more fully.  I cannot spend time with her without wanting to be better, kinder, more settled and confident.  She teaches and inspires me on every page.  She strips away the veneer of her complex characters and finds something to love in even the coarsest.  She shows me how I might do that with those with whom I rub shoulders.

Great fiction is not only entertaining, it is cathartic.  That is a gross understatement when considering not only this book but this series of books.  I am better and more at peace for having experienced the thought and emotion generated in such well developed fiction.

 I recommend you read the series in order.  Not that they can't stand alone.  They can.  But the deep rich theme and texture of Louise Penny's work is best enjoyed like a long delightful meal with good friends, not to be rushed, but to be savored and relished.  Clearly she began with the end in mind and the depth of her preparation in character development and plot detail and intricacy are rivaled by only a few masterworks like Les Miserables and A Tale of Two Cities.

Thankfully, we are anticipating more from my new favorite author.  I have every reason to expect it to be even better than this.  Louise Penny does not disappoint.


Candleman said...

When I liken this book to Les Miserables I ought to inform you that Penny does not spend eight parenthetical chapters on the development of the sewers beneath Quebec City or on the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. In that regard, though I am a connoisseur of detail, this work exceeds that of Victor Hugo. Nothing in Louise Penny's books belongs in parentheses.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Candleman,

Lovely, thoughtful, vibrant review. thank you for not only bringing your mind to the books, but your considerable heart too.

Utah Mom said...

Oh, great--more books I need to read. :) I so enjoy Booklogged's and your reviews.

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