Monday, August 28, 2017

Glass Houses by Louise Penny

There are all kinds of stories about heroes, stories that say when others are running away, heroes run toward trouble. That's the best way I know to summarize Louise Penny's latest book, Glass Houses, and her lead character, Armand Gamache. Because of the unusual format of the book, it will take the reader quite a bit of time to understand that opening sentence.

The book opens with Gamache on the witness stand, identifying himself as Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Quebec. As the reader discovers, despite his position, Gamache could only warn the person on trial. Gamache slowly reveals a story that alternates between the courtroom and Three Pines, where all the action actually took place. 

It's a story that started at a Halloween party when a black robed figure appeared in the village. And, the day after the party, the mysterious figure was still there, a figure that seemed to accuse the villagers, to taunt them. They grew restless, and Gamache was forced to quiet an unruly crowd. But, what had the figure actually done? There was nothing Gamache could do except warn the anonymous person to be careful. Then the figure disappears, and a body is found. 

There is so much I would like to reveal about the black robed figure, about the story itself, about Gamache. But, when I summarize, because I never feel as if I review a Louise Penny novel, I never want to spoil the story. At some point when I read one of Penny's books, it ceases to be a book, and becomes a world. I'm drawn into the world of Three Pines, observing Gamache's actions just as the villagers do.

Louise Penny's books are always about the dark and the light, good and evil, what's hidden from the world. Gamache has a terrible decision to make in Glass Houses, and he dwells on conscience, and answering to a higher power. It's a decision that weighs on him, weighs on others. Make no mistake about it. When others are running away, heroes do run toward trouble. Count Armand Gamache and some of the other beloved characters in Glass Houses as heroes.

Louise Penny's website is

Glass Houses by Louise Penny. Minotaur Books. 2017. ISBN 9781250066190 (hardcover), 391p.

Note:  Read the Author's Note!

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Anonymous said...

My copy arrives tomorrow - and after that I won't be doing anything other than reading this book. I can't wait!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

You did this perfectly, Lesa - as usual. Thank you.

Lesa said...

I always set a day aside to read Louise's latest book. It's the only way to read it.

Lesa said...

Ah, Kaye. Thank you. I had a hard time with it. You know I read it several weeks ago on a Sunday. But, I just couldn't come up with what I wanted to write.

Linda C said...

I need the right atmosphere (and uninterrupted time) to read her. I cannot do it on a bright summer day; we have a couple of rainy day forecast, so I think it is time!

Lesa said...

I know, Linda. You do have to have an uninterrupted day, and a day when it's time to sit down and read. It's wonderful.

Gram said...

I'm also waiting for the right moment to begin this latest Gamache.

Lesa said...

You just need that right moment, don't you, Gram?