I’m not quite sure why I like this series, but I do. The Gabriel Du Pre character is the main reason, I guess. He’s basically a redneck luddite who doesn’t much like the 20th century (when this novel was written) and who could possibly benefit from a little anger management training. He is also introspective, insightful, and perceptive. Oh, and he likes whiskey and guns. So overall not a bad sort.
The other characters are interesting in their own ways. His … what? Lover, girlfriend, companion? Madeleine is no shrinking violet, not just an adornment, but someone with good judgment and a strong will. His daughter Maria is a smart, motivated girl with a pretty strong ability to know what needs doing, and damn the consequences. His new friend Bart, the wealthy recovering alcoholic has just enough quirks and enough humility to be more than tolerable.
My biggest objection to this series is the Benetsee character, a sort of wine guzzling walk-about shaman with a supernatural ability to know things that he absolutely could not know. I’m not a fan of belief in the supernatural; I find such beliefs to be annoying and contemptible. So for this novel to rely on Benetsee to move the plot forward was disappointing.
But the other characters and the sense of place in Montana and Quebec make up for the book’s other flaws.