The Gate At The Stairs

Hmm. To end this book in the arms of a wretched phone call from the hero’s ex-employer seems tepid, a hat tossed into the ring of misogyny, a down beat from the rest of the frenetic prose that Moore pours on. We end with Tassie repeating, “Dinner?” incredulously to the husband in her former babysitting gig, and plop unceremoniously with “Reader, I did not even have coffee with him” at the end. Of course you didn’t, Tassie, you were a strong interesting unique woman in training and didn’t need to add the lecherous gropings of a balding man to your repertoire.
Despite the thud of an ending, the rest was consumed delightfully and quickly, seeing the spring semester of a Michigan farm girl at college, ingesting the anonymous dialogue of the racial support group sprung up when her employer adopts a biracial baby and encounters flak in the community. Tassie has a whirlwind romance with a “Brazilian” who inexplicably turns out to be pseudo-Islamic-terrorist-cell-related (I got thoroughly confused with their breakup scene, I might have that wrong) but who gifts her his xyolophone. Her deepest relationship is with Mary-Emma, the three year old adopted daughter she’s caring for, taking her on tumbling rides in a red wagon, engaging with other kids on the playground who ask for playdates to expand their racial horizons, singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot and other taboo songs that mother Sarah forbids.
I’m not entirely sure where I end up on the thumbs up/down spectrum with this tale, but it was an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.