A Gate at the Stairs was my introduction to Lorrie Moore's work; subsequent research offered me short stories, much older than this title, after I had finished most of the novel. Like my brief encounter with her short stories, which captivated me, I fell hard for A Gate at the Stairs.
There are, however, some aspects of the book that seemed quite unbelievable. Examples: the fact that Sarah and Edward have literally hopped around, or even the entire scene with the child being taken from their home. The novel certainly had it's ups and downs.
This quotation from the book sums up my experience, and adoration, of this narrative:
"I ran north and north and north and could perhaps have run all the way to Canada, where, paralyzed with sadness and exhaustion, my arms and fingers would stiffen upward and I would, in one of grief's mythic transformations, become a maple tree, my sappy tears cooked down to syrup for someone's flapjacks."After a particularly devastating incident, Tassie decides to run out into the cold world around her, yet she still manages to find cynical humor in her predictament. And I really enjoyed this characteristic.
Definitely recommend it to all those that love a little cynicism and wit. Furthermore, the language is quite moving, and Moore is a must if you haven't read her work before.