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Gate at the Stairs (Moore)

A Gate at the Stairs
Lorrie Moore, 2009
Knopf Doubleday
336 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780375708466

Summary  
Tassie Keltjin has come from a small farming town to attend college in Troy, “the Athens of the Midwest.” She's swept into a thrilling world of books and films and riveting lectures, high-flying discussions about Bach, Balkanization, and bacterial warfare, and the witty repartee of her fellow students. At the end of the semester, Tassie takes a job as a part-time nanny for the newly adopted child of Sarah Brink, the owner of a trendy downtown restaurant, and her husband, Edward Thornwood, a scientist pursuing independent research.

Tassie is enchanted by the little girl. Her feelings about Sarah and Edward are less easily defined, and as she becomes an integral part of their family, the mysteries of their lives and their relationship only deepen. She finds little to anchor her: a boyfriend turns out to be quite different from what he seems; vacations in her hometown are like visits to an alien country; and her loving, eccentric family no longer provides the certainties and continuity that shaped her childhood..

Lorrie Moore's ability to blend quick wit and hilarious observations of current trends with moving portraits of people struggling with loneliness, confusion, and the desire for love has made her one of the most admired writers of our time. Capturing the mood of post-9/11 America with astonishing deftness and precision, A Gate at the Stairs showcases Moore at the height of her powers. (From the publisher.)




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