I’ve never read any material by Lorrie Moore before, but I’ve read rave reviews about her and this book so I thought I’d give it a go and I’m really glad I did! The events of September 11th 2001 are used as a backdrop for Moore’s novel, “A Gate at the Stairs” and even though it holds a serious tone through the majority of the novel, Moore still injects an ounce of her sense of humour, which is downright hilarious.
It tells the story of Tassie, a farmer’s daughter who travels to the big city to attend university. September 11th is mentioned breifly at the beginning of the novel, it’s not something that Tassie seems to be too effected by and doesn’t change her day to day life. However, as the story progresses and we get introduced to her employers, the Thornwood/Brink’s who have decided to adopt a child and enlist Tassie as their nanny, we get to see that the events of 9/11 do take an effect on Tassie and how they effect what kind of woman she’s becoming. Not only does it effect her nanny job but it makes her have a different outlook on her life at home.
The novel is brilliantly written and filled with descriptive narrative. It took me a while to get into it, but once I really gave it an afternoon on my couch, I began to understand why so many people are Lorrie Moore fans. It’s filled with humor, tragedy and self discovery. I promise you won’t be disappointed when you pick up this book.