Sunday, May 12, 2013

Louise Penny's "How The Light Gets In"

Many years ago someone at DorothyL mentioned a book by the name of "Still Life" by a new author I'd never heard of.  Louise Penny.
I was captivated and spellbound before page 10.  So much so that I ordered the next book, "Dead Cold" from either Canada or the UK because it was being released there before being released in the US a year later under the name "A Fatal Grace."  Same thing the following year for "The Cruelest Month" - and the following year for "The Murder Stone," released in the US under the name "A Rule Against Murder."  Finally, in 2009 Ms. Penny's books started being released in the US at the same time as in Canada, and now under one name universally.  And I was lucky enough to receive an ARC, for which I will be forever grateful.  I'm still receiving ARCs of the Inspector Gamache/Three Pines novels and my life is richer for them. 
For each book I've used up my list of superlatives.  Exquisite, elegant, stunning, sublime, delicious.  I've made no secret of the fact that I think Louise Penny hung the moon.  She's thought to be one of the most gracious people in the mystery community by everyone lucky enough to meet her and be welcomed by her beauty and her open arms.
So what to say about "How The Light Gets In."  Truthfully, it leaves me speechless.  It's full of phrasing any writer would die to claim as their own.  It made me laugh out loud on one page, only to have me burst into tears of pure emotion two pages later.  I know I keep saying her writing just keeps getting better with each book, but I find it to be true.  I love her writing, and I love her stories.  I feel an attachment to the residents of Three Pines and hope they'll live in the pages of more and more books for many years to come.  There's still much to be learned about each of them.  My only complaint is having to wait so long in between!  (I am such a petty girl).
For fans who prefer their Penny in Three Pines, this book's for you. 
For those who just love Penny wherever she takes us, you are going to thank her for this one.
Most of you who have fallen in love with these books know by now that Louise Penny's books are about terror.  And, to quote what she says about them, they're also about goodness, and kindness.  In this latest entry she gives us a healthy dose of all these things and she touches every emotion with a strength unknown to most writers,, in my most humble opinion.
The title "How The Light Gets In" comes from Leonard Cohen's "Anthem."  "Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, There's a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in."
Louise Penny shows the cracks in heartbreaking clarity.  We finish this novel understanding the cracks and bathed in purest light.  I love this book more than I have words to share.


Rhonda Hicks said...

I bought all of the books for my mom, and I'm now on the fourth one. I feel lucky to have a few more of Penny's books to read, but mom is anxiously awaiting the next :) Judy B. was kind enough to get mom a signed copy of The Beautiful Mystery.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Rhonda, I'll bet your mom cherishes that signed copy. and you guys are going to love this one!
(sending a special Mother's Day hug to you AND to Sweet Ella!)

traveler said...

Leonard Cohen is the best. He won a Juno and is special. Louise Penny writes about a lovely area where I used to live near, when I lived in Montreal.