Monday, July 27, 2009

A Gate at the Stairs

by Lorrie Moore

This is the story of families. Two families, that are broken in different ways. The book is told in the voice of Tassie Keltjin, the daughter of one of these families.

Tassie is the daughter of a potato farmer. He is successful in his own way, but has a laid back attitude to pretty much everything. Still, he is a man with heart. Her mother is a little on the vague side, and has some problems of her own that keep her from being fully invested in the lives of her two children.

Tassie goes to college, and in her search for a job as a babysitter, she is drawn into the lives of Edward and Sarah who are in process of adopting a baby. But of course, no one is really as they first appear, and so it is with this couple.

Her unusual job description has Tassie meeting birth mothers and giving some weak and inexperienced support to people she doesn't know. She has a personal life too, of course.
And as a young pretty woman, meets a young pretty man and falls enthusiastically into a relationship that eventually affects her position as a babysitter.

This is a sad story, but not a depressing one. It is really a story of life. Growing, learning, loving and guilt of course. There is always guilt. Do not make the mistake of labeling this one as fluff. It is much more than that. It is a good story, well told. The characters are compelling interesting, down to the ones who appear only for a moment. I recommend this for a good solid relaxing read.

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