Tai's Reviews > A Gate at the Stairs

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
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Apr 20, 2012

really liked it

While big themes such as racism, terrorism and post-9-11 angst have been woven artfully into this narrative, the book feels far more intimate and personal. The story of a midwestern farm girl with intellectual yearnings, who leaves her parents potato farm to go to college in the city - Tassie takes a job as a nanny for a rich, intriguingly mysterious couple who have just adopted a little girl, in whose lives she becomes increasingly absorbed.

Moor's sardonic voice is the true gem of this piece -- frank, funny, dark and real.

Tassie feels as real as oneself, and the reader becomes as caught up in her life as she becomes caught up in the couple for whom she is working.

There are some forgivable flaws -- the final stretch of the book is a bit limp compared to the vitality and movement of the majority of the story, one character (her lover, who doesn't play that big a role anyway) lacks depth and comes off as a bit of a foil for plot development -- but these are small snags, and the good parts are so good...in the end it doesn't matter. It's 80 % brilliant.

Psychologically thrilling and wonderfully authentic, this whip-smart book is a treat and a must-read for any novel lover.
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