Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award
Finalist for the Orange Prize for Fiction
Chosen as a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, Kansas City Star, Financial Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Real Simple
Twenty-year-old Tassie Keltjin, the daughter of a gentleman farmer, has come to a university town as a student. When she takes a job as a part-time nanny for a mysterious and glamorous family, she finds herself drawn deeper into their world and forever changed. Told through the eyes of this memorable narrator, A Gate at the Stairs is a piercing novel of race, class, love, and war in America.
Moore (Anagrams) knits together the shadow of 9/11 and a young girl's bumpy coming-of-age in this luminous, heart-wrenchingly wry novel the author's first in 15 years. Tassie Keltjin, 20, a smalltown girl weathering a clumsy college year in "the Athens of the Midwest," is taken on as prospective nanny by brittle Sarah Brink, the proprietor of a pricey restaurant who is desperate to adopt a baby despite her dodgy past. Subsequent "adventures in prospective motherhood" involve a pregnant girl "with scarcely a tooth in her head" and a white birth mother abandoned by her African-American boyfriend both encounters expose class and racial prejudice to an increasingly less na ve Tassie. In a parallel tale, Tassie lands a lover, enigmatic Reynaldo, who tries to keep certain parts of his life a secret from Tassie. Moore's graceful prose considers serious emotional and political issues with low-key clarity and poignancy, while generous flashes of wit Tessie the sexual innocent using her roommate's vibrator to stir her chocolate milk endow this stellar novel with great heart.
Do not waste your time on this book
I forced myself to finish this book, because I kept hoping that it would get better. It didn't. I truly felt a sense of loss at the hours of my life that are now gone because I wasted them on this book. Characters are not interesting, and the end is just bizarre (I'm sorry, but NO ONE would do what she does at the end.)