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A Gate at the Stairs

by Lorrie Moore

I found this such a warm and often funny story - but how sad! As Tassie tells the story of Sarah and her devastating losses we also see Tassie's struggle to grow up and come to terms with her own tragedies. It is all told in the most perfect, beautiful prose - I had to slow down to savour each wonderful paragraph - and this made the tale somehow deeper and more poignant.

Extract

In the morning sunshine my parents looked cleansed of their reinforcing farm dirt. They looked translucent and a little frailer than they had even in the fall, when the black potato muck beneath their nails and the mud on their shoes and clothing seemed to anchor them to the earth. Now they could - and might - ascend in a shaft of light, for all I knew. I scarcely recognised them, as if they were only slightly animate in their holographic shimmer.

Parallels

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore
The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman
 

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