Catherine's Reviews > A Gate at the Stairs

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
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's review
Sep 14, 2009

really liked it

Some reviewers are responding to this novel much as I expected: "Moore is too clever by half, the voice of her narrator is too mature, the plot is unbelievable." My response is that she IS too clever by half, and -- so what? The narrator has the voice of a 50-ish academic professor because that is who is speaking ; she makes references to "later I would find out," or "another boyfriend would later tell me." As for the plot and its spotty verisimilitude, I would suggest that reviewers who suggest as much may not have grown up as a girl in the Midwest. Trust me, it's perfectly plausible to be directly affected by war overseas, become infatuated with swarthy, secretive lovers who are wholly inappropriate for you, nanny for white-liberal zealots with questionable backgrounds and/or ethics -- all during one's sophomore year! -- and view it all with a preternaturally wise, wry eye. In addition, her passages on the weather and the natural world are astoundingly poetic, her take on the harm done by passive complicity to gendered authority, the bizarreness of government and law over-ruling love and nature and family and motherhood are all pretty eloquent.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Lauren Her attempt to portray a college student is pathetic. Does she listen to Modest Mouse? It seems like she typed popular band into google and hit I'm feeling lucky.

message 2: by Ruby (new)

Ruby I haven't read the book, but love that you said "pretty eloquent" in a review. You make me want to read the book for reals.

Lynn Ok well, when you put it that way it does deserve 4 stars.

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