Sunny, cold, highs minus 9
Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.
How can you not love a guy who wrote that? Actually I used that quote in A Fatal Grace – as part of Clara’s art.
I once said that on air at CBC radio and a listener called in to lambast me and point out that this is not a happy day. Christ was crucified on this day. I was about 21 years old and deeply sorry I’d offended someone. So I apologized on air. It was only decades later I realized I didn’t agree with that assessment. But I believe what makes this holiday so special isn’t that Christ was crucified, but that he rose.
This is a holiday of hope. And how can that not be happy?
Indeed, it’s such fun to be speaking to you on this day. This is exactly the time when my latest book, The Cruelest Month, is set. Over the Easter holiday. In my book it’s a very late Easter – being a movable feast I did my goddess thing and moved it to late April. So that the spring bulbs would just be poking out. A promise. But fragile, vulnerable. And in the book we find out what happens to anything that exposes itself too much and too soon.
In the words of Shakespeare’s Wolsley’s Farewell (a wonderful speech): A killing frost. It nips his bud. And then he falls, as I do.
In the book there’s a killing frost – both physically and psychologically. Aimed at a villager in Three Pines, but also at Chief Inspector Gamache.
Spring is an unsettling season – and Easter an unsettling time. As one of the characters says – not everything is meant to come back to life. Not everything that rises up is a miracle.
I hope you enjoy reading The Cruelest Month as much as I enjoyed writing it. It’s about murder, of course, being a murder mystery. But at its heart it’s about second chances, and redemption.
Here’s to our cracks, and the hope and compassion that springs from them.