A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

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A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

Moore, Lorrie. A Gate at the Stairs. Knopf, 2009. ISBN 978-0375409288 336 pp. $25.95

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This post 9/11 coming-of-age story interweaves the story of a grieving Jewish father and his daughter’s search for her unknown niece or nephew, fathered by her brother who perished in the WTC on September 11, 2001.

The writing style is distinguished and just lovely, quite possibly one of best written books I looked at in 2009. Every page seems to contain some kernel of truth about the world. The writing isn’t high literary or academic, so I do think it’s accessible. I didn’t grow up as a midwestern Jew, but I found the protagonist very relatable, and supporting characters are vividly drawn. Tassie is a bit of an apathetic narrator, but her tendency to hang back a little lends itself well to the observational tone of this contemplative but meaty story. The pace is deliberate, and works for the tone and depth of the story.

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