Lorrie Moore, A Gate at the Stairs

Images-1 I just finished Lorrie Moore's book, A Gate at the Stairs and there are a million words running through my head.

Moving, absorbing, intimate, awakening, dark, odd, layered, memorable, funny and impressive.

The book focuses on a college student, Tassie Keltjin, a daughter of a Midwestern artisinal farmer.  She is smart but naive and a bit lost.  She takes a job as a nanny for a white couple who adopts a mixed race baby post 9/11.  As time goes by she becomes a bigger part of their family and learns more about them that she bargained for.  She also has a relationship with another student who is drawn into the post 9/11 world.  Her brother, also lost, finds himself in the military.  Many different relationships and layers through the book.

The book is written through Tassies eyes as she grows up in the post 9/11 era attending college and learning how to be an adult.  Well written and a book that is worth discussing with other people.  Would be good for a book group.  A really wonderful incredibly well written thought provoking book.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. meaghano

    I just finished this yesterday, too! Lorrie Moore is my favorite writer– so easy to connect to her amazing balance of humor and sadness. And this was of course no exception.Initially I was frustrated to read a 20 year old character from someone I wanted, well, more PERSPECTIVE from, more wisdom, you know? But then I saw LM’s talk at BookExpo (http://www.youtube.com/watc…, and realized, how beautiful! To feel things like a 20 year old again. And then I loved it.The last 3rd got weird plot-wise, didn’t it? But the last two lines! Oh, I loved it.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I did get a little weird at the end but that’s Lorrie Moore.

  2. Shelley

    I saw your comments on the book “Olive Kitteridge” in the side bar. I just finished this book a couple of weeks ago and found it very interesting. Half way through reading I recommended it to a friend for her book club, and then when I finished the book I felt compelled to call her and warn her that it was a bit darker and more depressing than I had first thought. When I began the book, I LOVED it. I continued to be fascinated by it – wondering when I began each chapter how this new character would interact and connect with Olive. I thought the writing was completely brilliant. Perhaps one of the best pieces of writing, other than Carole Shields, that I’ve read. But I wish it wasn’t so dark, and depressing. I kept expecting the writer to bring in some sense of hope and renewal toward the end, and there was a bit, but not enough I felt.

    1. Gotham Gal

      The writing was definitely brilliant as the author, Strout, has publishedseveral books. I don’t mind dark but I just found the book to be utterlydepressing. There wasn’t a character that I liked. Nobody seemed happy.It was if they were all just going through the steps of life until the end.Perhaps there are people like that but I’d rather not read about them. Ilike dark but this was more of a deep hole.