Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Guest Blog – The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny

The end of the month is drawing near and soon I will be traveling again. Away from Montreal and the McGill library. Therefore I have been trying to read all of the Louise Penny books that I can before leaving. I just finished The Cruelest Month and liked it more than her other mysteries.

Penny’s characters are vivid and believable. They remind me of people that I know. Penny though gives us a brief look at their thoughts and secrets. In the third Three Pines mystery, Clara Morrow still is going unrecognized for her art. Gamache is still being attacked personally from within the Sûreté. This book will bring to close some of the problems that he faces from his own comrades in the police force. Jealousy and revenge are major themes throughout the book. Jealousy of other people’s success and of others’ personal peace and contentment with life.

In life it is often difficult for each of us to find joy in other people’s accomplishment and success. In many ways, I think that is a mark of true friendship. It is not so difficult to commiserate with a friend over the struggles and challenges of life. Too often we discover within ourselves the reluctance to find joy in someone else’s joy or abundance in her life.

Basically that is what this story is about: the husband who is afraid that his wife is more talented than he is, the friend who can’t understand how his life long friend could find such happiness and contentment, the friend who thinks that other people like someone better than themselves. All people that you and I know. Thank goodness Penny manages to have good triumph over evil by the conclusion of her stories. I never have liked those stories where the protagonist dies on the last page.

No comments: