Sue's Reviews > A Gate at the Stairs

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
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Dec 08, 09

Read in November, 2009

I have rarely had such difficulty deciding how to write about a book. Initially I was squirming my way through, and I developed this little list of peeves; in particular I wanted Moore's editor to ration the use of metaphor. But then I stopped being distracted by the poetic language, and the book just grabbed me. Flawed or not, the book embedded its characters in my memory, and that is the highest compliment I can pay to a work of fiction.

This is a bildungsroman for the 21st century. Tassie is at the start a young woman who is as unrooted as any college student, tangled among the unconnected threads of family, romance, and serious learning. She chooses an inappropriate lover, falls unwittingly into a family tragedy, and loses her mooring to her brother. It is her introduction to the adult world of disappointment and grief.
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