Reading guide for How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

How the Light Gets In

A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, #9

by Louise Penny

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny X
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2013, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2014, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Reading Group Discussion Questions for How the Lights Gets In by Louise Penny

  1. Louise Penny has said that Three Pines isn't just the setting for How the Light Gets In; it is a main character and plays a pivotal role. How do you view that character and that role?
  2. The title is taken from a verse in 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.
    What meaning do these lyrics have in the story - and perhaps in your own experience?
  3. We meet Constance Ouellet only briefly, at the start of this novel, yet by the end we understand a great deal about her life. What do you make of that life? How about Audrey Villeneuve's?
  4. How do you view the relationship between Gamache and Beauvoir throughout the book? What do you ultimately think of both men?
  5. On her website, Louise says, "If you take only one thing away from any of my books I'd like it to be this: Goodness exists." How is goodness manifested in this book? What about evil?
  6. On page 124, we are told that the birth "was a miracle, but it was also a mess." What else, in the novel and in life, can be described in that way?
  7. On page 200, "Chief Inspector Gamache walked over to one of the maps of Québec tacked to a wall. He smiled. Someone had placed a tiny dot south of Montréal...Written there, in a small perfect hand, was one word. Home. It was the only map in existence that showed the village of Three Pines." What does this passage - and the concept of home - mean to you?
  8. Page 236 describes "the stained-glass window made after the Great War, showing bright young soldiers walking forward. Not with brave faces. They were filled with fear. But still they advanced." What does this image, along with the events in the novel, say about courage?
  9. If you have read any (or all) of Louise's previous novels, what changes have you seen in the characters and in the books themselves?
  10. Many readers have said that they wish they could move to Three Pines. Do you feel that way? What appeals to you (or does not) about the place and the people there?
  11. If there was another chapter, after the end of this book, what would happen in it?

With permission from St. Martin's Press

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Minotaur Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Make Room for Ducklings?

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Only Child
    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin
    Rhiannon Navin's debut novel, Only Child received an overall score of 4.8 out of 5 from BookBrowse ...
  • Book Jacket: Brass
    Brass
    by Xhenet Aliu
    In 1996, Waterbury, Connecticut is a town of abandoned brass mills. Eighteen-year-old Elsie ...
  • Book Jacket: Timekeepers
    Timekeepers
    by Simon Garfield
    If you can spare three minutes and 57 seconds, you can hear the driving, horse-gallop beat of Sade&#...
  • Book Jacket: How to Stop Time
    How to Stop Time
    by Matt Haig
    Tom Hazard, the protagonist of How to Stop Time, is afflicted with a condition of semi-immortality ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin

    A dazzling, tenderhearted debut about healing, family, and the exquisite wisdom of children.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The French Girl
    by Lexie Elliott

    An exhilarating debut psychological suspense novel for fans of Fiona Barton and Ruth Ware.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Beartown

Now in Paperback!

From the author of a A Man Called Ove, a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T I M A Slip B C A L

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.