At Paradise Gate

Jane Smiley

05 October 2017
224 pages


In At Paradise Gate, Pulitzer Prize-winner and bestselling author Jane Smiley paints with searing accuracy a portrait of a marriage at breaking point and one family's struggle for survival.

While seventy-seven-year-old Ike Robison is dying in his bedroom upstairs, his wife, Anna, must defend all that they have built together throughout their lengthy marriage as their house is invaded by their three interfering - albeit loving - middle-aged daughters and their twenty-three year old grand-daughter, Christine.

Set over a three-day period of family crisis, Anna reflects over all that has happened, and all that is still left to come, in this compelling and gracefully wrought depiction of a marriage.

Smiley's sharp insights, the homely use of details of family life, and the mysteries of marriage set this book apart . . . One to re-read with appreciation and pleasure
Studded with sensuous descriptive passages and marked with slivers of insight - a treat for senses and intellect alike. For Smiley, another quite remarkable effort
Complex domestic tensions . . . honest, moving, quietly splendid