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cherrypie

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About cherrypie

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    Permanent Resident
  • Birthday 14/11/1961

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Bedfordshire, UK
  • Interests
    Reading!!! Spectator sport (esp. tennis and cricket), gardening, travelling when possible, getting together with friends & family
  • Current Book
    The Sound and The Fury - William Faulkner

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  1. what is everyone doing?

    It is a beautiful day here so RG and I spent the morning walking around a local lake. It was lovely to see so many family groups out in the sunshine. Having washed my car RG is now giving the back lawn it's first mow of the year. Hopefully spring is not too far away! Our little granddaughter is doing much better thank goodness. Although her feeds are still a little up and down she is having days when she takes larger amounts. The horrible vomiting has calmed down too. Hopefully next week when she is weighed again she may have gained a bit more weight!
  2. This is the eighth book in the Chief Inspector Gamache series and is described on the back cover as "the most outstanding novel yet from international bestselling phenomenon Louise Penny". I am not sure that I would describe it as the best but it is certainly well up there! Like The Brutal Telling and Bury Your Dead I just could not put this book down. Like a few of the other books in the series so far this book is not set in the village of Three Pines but unlike any of the novels so far no characters from the village appear in this book. The only regular characters to appear are Gamache himself and his second in command Inspector Beauvoir. Gamache's boss Sylvain Francoeur also appears again in this novel but the reader has seen only a little of him in previous books so I do not count him as a regular character. The book is actually set in a monastery hidden deep in the wilderness and inhabited by two dozen monks. They are men of prayer and music and until the recent release of a CD of their music have been hidden from the rest of the world for centuries. However the murder of one of their number forces them to invite the world in. As Gamache and Beauvoir investigate the murder it becomes clear that the community of monks is not all that it seems. Gamache finds clues in the divine, the human and the cracks in between. Once again I would describe this as an exceptional book but would have to acknowledge that it would not be for everyone. Viccie read the third book in the series recently and said that if she had not read the first two and enjoyed them she would have given up on it as she could not get on with "the flowery language" (her description not mine). I love the descriptive language and the examinations of human nature and character development that appear in the books alongside the details of the crimes. I learnt early on in the series that the Gamache books are far more than a set of crime novels. I suspect that if that is all they were I would have given up on them by now. I love many of the characters and am beginning to care for many of them more and more. I finished this one in a state of shock and am almost dreading what I will find at the beginning of the next one! I am finding this to be a wonderful series of books. Not only do I love the character development from book to book but I find it amazing the way that the books often prompt me to look more closely at my own behaviour and relationships. This book , probably because of where it is set and the way that it examines faith, has been especially good at this. I will be very sorry to finish the books, I suspect that I will feel quite bereft without them! A bit like saying goodbye to old friends.
  3. This was my least favourite of the series so far Viccie - I am now on number eight and they do get better. Books five and six have been the best for me so far. RG is now reading this one but has not said what he thinks so far. The language is very descriptive but unlike you Viccie I really enjoy that and would have to say that it is one of the reasons why I read the books. As to Gamache's gentle character once again I am a fan. He does have strength which is proven later on in the series and I would love to believe that such a kind, gentle but strong man could exist. I think it would be sad to think that human nature could not be that forgiving.
  4. what is everyone doing?

    I don't know about keeping us young Momac! At times we think it would be nice just to stop for a bit and have a duvet day. The only thing is that on the rare occasions that we get the chance we just cannot do it. We don't seem to be able to slow down to that extent these days. I do still make sure that I keep time free to walk on a regular basis as it is the one thing that helps my back. Most of my reading is done first thing in the morning before I get out of bed or last thing at night before turning in. Ruby is a great calmer downer of course. She is still as beautiful as ever and of course our granddaughter is a real joy. Her coming into our lives is like nothing nothing else we have ever experienced.
  5. I'll Never Be Young Again

    I have read a number of books by this author and loved them. I have not read any for a number of years and I was considering revisiting her work as I am sure that there are books written by her that I have not read. Having read your comments Meg I think that I will give this one a miss!
  6. what is everyone doing?

    I did start keeping a list of the books that I have read and managed to keep it going for best part of a year or so but I have to admit that I did flounder somewhat and have never got back into the habit. I have decided that as I read for pleasure if I do read a book for the second time it does not really matter. Although I read purely for pleasure I find that I do learn a lot from the books that I read which I count as a real bonus. RG and I have had a really busy week. He had six rest days off on the trot but before we even got to them five of the six were already booked. We seem to spend our time juggling the care of RG's Mum with the giving of support to my parents and our daughter with her new baby! I was at our daughter's all day yesterday as little one had her three month jabs. She was a bit out of sorts but did sleep through our lunch at a nearby coffee shop enabling us to have a good natter. It is our quizz night at church tonight. It always takes place in the chapter house attached to our church and includes a pancake supper. RG and I have been part of the winning team for the last two years so we have a lot to live up to. I only hope that RG does not fall asleep in his supper, he was up for work at 3.30 this morning!!
  7. This is the seventh novel by Louise Penny featuring Chief Inspector Gamache and his team. Once again this story is set in the idyllic village of Three Pines in Quebec. Many of the characters who appear in previous books make appearances in this story too and the reader watches as their lives develop as much as they read about the crime which forms the central part of the book. A women is found in a flower bed in the garden of two of the residents of Three Pines. Her eyes are wide open and her neck has been broken. Her death is a complete mystery as is the women herself and her reason for being in Three Pines. As the story unfolds Gamache and his team uncover many secrets of those who have known he women over the years including the two residents of the village. Once again the murderer is found to be somebody known to the women and many of those living in the village. Once again the book is very character driven and the reader is given an insight into the world of the artist as well as seeing the relationships between well loved characters develop. Although this is a slow read as far as the crime itself is concerned it has far more to offer. The books really do need to be read in order to fully appreciate the real basis of these stories, the characters themselves. I admit that some of the books are better than others but as far as I am concerned the books are well worth the effort. A brilliant series. I already have the next one on my TBR shelf. I feel as if these books have helped me through the winter!!
  8. what is everyone doing?

    Hope you feel better soon Meg. There seems to be some horrible bugs around this winter. So far I have been pretty lucky and avoided them all! I take Adcal D3 which is supposed to help with my calcium levels as it contains both calcium and vitamin D. Even so the results of a recent blood test showed that my calcium levels are still a little low! An excuse for more lattes!! Our daughter has been over today with the little one. Lovely to see them and have lots of cuddles and we were lucky enough to be able to go out for a bracing walk. Pushing the pram with my granddaughter in is still a novelty! Only problem is getting her to take her feeds. What a nightmare. Alhough she is now on non cows milk formula the fear of pain around feeding has not faded. She is so good in all other ways bless. Just glad I am here to help so much.
  9. what is everyone doing?

    Thanks for your kind thoughts Meg and Momac. They are much appreciated. Like your Grandbaby Meg our little one came out in a rash too and like our daughter has eczema. We are hoping that unlike our daughter as she has it so young she will grow out of it. Unfortunately both her parents have eczema as do I and my Dad so the chances of her having it were always quite high. As to the milk allergy it is hoped that when she is weaned milk can be added slowly to her diet. Just like your grandbaby Meg it seems to be the cows milk protein that is the problem and not the lactose. We are just glad that she is so much happier and taking her bottles a little easier. Hopefully her growth will catch up soon too. Although cold and a bit windy here today it is lovely and sunny so I was able to get out for a long walk earlier. It is amazing how a long walk in the he fresh air can make me feel so refreshed. I am not a good winter person and find that my walks really help. Our daughter intends coming over tomorrow for the day with the little one so am getting as many jobs done as possible, around the tennis from St Petersburg of course!! The little one is really beginning to respond now and is nearly rolling over on her own. Although she has had a bit of a rough time of late she is still a really happy baby and is all smiles now that she is not in so much pain. A real joy to watch although Ruby is not sure that she is keen!! I think she thinks she should be our only baby!!
  10. what is everyone doing?

    Hoping spring is on the way here too Momac. Our churchyard is one mass of snowdrops and I noticed that there are actually dafadils out at the end of church road. I for one cannot wait! Sorry I have been absent from the site for a while but our little granddaughter has been a bit unwell. After many changes of milk, six to be exact, it seems she has a milk allergy. She has not been growing at the rate that she should but has been on her present milk for nearly a week now and seems to be improving. RG and I have spent a lot of time at our daughter's helping out with chores and with the baby. Our daughter has lost a little of her confidence but seems to be recovering it at last.
  11. Bury Your Dead

    Three Pines sounds beautiful, especially in the snow. I am not sure that I would want to visit for too long though as I hate the cold and damp!! I think that I would also find it a little disappointing without all of the characters from the books being there. Louise Penny has a wonderful talent for creating very real and human characters. So much so that I the reader can almost feel as if I know them. That is one of the joys of following a series of books in this way for me. I think that it says a lot about the author of a book if they can make the reader really care about the outcome for their characters.
  12. what is everyone doing?

    I put the telly on early and watch a bit of the tennis each morning Momac but I must admit it is not quite the same for RG and I now that Andy is not playing. I am trying to watch some of the younger players and gain an interest in one or two of them. At least so far Kyle Edmunds is doing well. I feel that although he may have the game he will never have the mentality to go really far in one of the big tournaments.
  13. Well I thought that the last in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, The Brutal Telling, was good but I think that this book may be even better! I was gripped until the very end. It actually tells three stories regarding three different crimes. One is the continuation of the story told in the previous book and is investigated by Gamache's second in command Inspector Beauvoir who narrates this part of the book. The second concerns a crime that has happened in the recent past and the main part of the story is told by Gamache replaying a conversation over in his mind. The third is a current crime and takes place in Quebec city. A man has been brutally murdered in a library where the English citizens of Quebec safeguard their history. The death opens a door to the past, exposing a mystery that has lain dormant for years. I found the way in which Louise Penny managed to weave the three stories around one another really well done. I had to concentrate a bit but it was in no way a difficult read. Many of the characters from the previous books appear in this one even though the main part of the action does not take place in Three Pines. I was held by all three stories until the very end and cannot say that I guessed the climax of any of the three stories. When the climax of the three stories came I just could not put the book down. By the end of the book I was practically out of breath! I found the ending of all three stories quite heartbreaking as well as surprising. This is far more than a crime novel. It tells a lot about a part of Quebec history and taught me much apart the place that I did not know. All three crimes were cleverly told without being gory or using bad language but the best part of the book are the human stories. As I read each book I find myself caring more and more for many of the characters. I would certainly recommend this series to other readers. The first few books I found to be quite comfortable reads but as I go along I am finding that the books are getting better and better. Brilliant!
  14. This is the fifth book in The Inspector Gamache series and in my opinion by far and away the best. Unlike previous novels in this series the crime itself was very believable and far darker than I have come to expect. This novel takes the reader back to Three Pines following a different setting in the previous book and the usual group of villagers reappear. Both the members of Gamache's team and many of the villagers are becoming like old friends and story lines loosely run from book to book which I really like. When a dead body is discovered in the village bistro the villagers are all shocked. When no weapon, motive, suspect or even identity of the victim can be easily discovered Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are faced with the task of uncovering clues of the victim's past. Once again the book is very character driven and as much is learnt by watching and listening to members of the village as by any other means. As I have said in comparison with other books in this series this story is quite dark. It is also remarkably clever and very detailed. The reader has to concentrate all the time for fear of missing the odd little clue here or the odd little clue there. Unlike other books in the series I really did have no idea who the murderer was until the very end when all was explained. Even then I was not completely convinced that there was not going to be one last twist. My attention was held until the very last page! I found this book very hard to put down and would not hesitate to recommend it to other readers. When describing other books in the series I have suggested that regular readers of crime novels may find the crimes a little far fetched and the pace a little slower. Not so with this book. The author has managed to create a crime novel in which the crime and the solving of it holds the reader's attention as much as the characters and the views offered of human nature and behaviour. A very sophisticated crime novel in fact and a great read.
  15. This is the fourth in the Inspector Gamache series and is the first of the series in which the greatest part of the action takes place away from Three Pines. The wealthy Finney family get together each year at The Manoir Bellchasse, an exclusive hotel set in The Canadian Wilderness, to pay tribute to their late father. During their stay each year old secrets and bitter rivalries have a habit of resurfacing and this year's get together is to prove no different from previous year's! When a massive thunder storm hits the hotel following a heat wave this year proves to be a little different. After the storm a body is found in the grounds by one of the gardeners. Chief inspector Gamache of the Surete du Qu├ębec and his wife happen to be staying at the hotel along with the Finney family and when the hotel is locked down he calls his usual team to help him solve the murder. Three Pines is not left out completely however as two members of the Finney family are residents of the village and have played parts in all three of the previous stories. Gamache knows that as nobody is allowed to leave the murderer is cornered and could strike again so solving the crime quickly is required. Once again the joy of this book for me are the characters and their relationships with one another along with the pictures the reader is able to build up of human nature itself. As usual Gamache is a brilliant leading man and somebody who, if he actually existed, I would love to be able to sit down with over a quiet drink and chat to. Once again the crime itself is not the most important part of this book and although all is explained clearly leaving the reader in no doubt as to what has happened the explanation is a little far fetched to say the least. For me this is a little unimportant but I do realise that readers of more common crime novels may find the Gamache series a little slow moving for their tastes. Although this series is one that I would freely recommend to other readers I would have point out the relatively slow pace of the novels.
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