The Pepper Gate

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University of Queensland Press, 2007 - Australian fiction - 319 pages
2 Reviews
Mallory is a successful artist who learnt early in life that art could provide him with an escape from the mundane and the unpleasant. He has never come to terms with the abduction of his infant son and daughter at the hands of his first wife, Fleur. But now, just as he discovers he is suffering from an incurable disease, it seems he may have found his daughter. His current marriage to the much younger Sueyen is in tatters, and his relationship with his exwife and their daughter, Kimberley, who has a severe disability, is in trouble as well. With art now failing him, Mallory finds solace in Em, the enigmatic young woman who has arrived to help him build a mudbrick house.
The Pepper Gate is a finely crafted, character driven novel about truth, denial and sublimation, and the lengths to which we will go to preserve the life we seek for ourselves.

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User Review  - dclode - LibraryThing

How lovely to read a book set in Warrandyte (near where I live in Australia) and peopled by artists and escaped hippies in mudbrick houses with aging dogs. A rare treat. Against this reassuringly ... Read full review

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How lovely to read a book set in Warrandyte and peopled by artists and escaped hippies in mudbrick houses with aging dogs. A rare treat. Against this reassuringly familiar backdrop lies a much more complex story about personal recovery and acceptance. The diversity of perspectives presented by the different characters offer a tremendous range of insights into different people's lives (all of them fascinating), what we expect of ourselves and each other, and what others expect, but don't always get, from us. This is a gentle, but deeply perceptive, tale where we seem to walk one step from disaster but are kept from the edge by our common humanity. 

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