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Far Beyond the Gates    by Philip Lee Williams order for
Far Beyond the Gates
by Philip Lee Williams
Order:  USA  Can
Mercer University Press, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

This beautifully written story, Far Beyond the Gates, has so much to offer, especially to those whose hearts have been broken by family discord. For Lucy, whose father is a Pulitzer Prize winner and whose mother is a professor of art history, family life has mostly been a huge disappointment. Her parents are divorced, and she herself is a divorcee.

When Pratt, her father, invites Lucy to spend the summer with him as he deals with his increasingly progressive multiple sclerosis, she reluctantly accepts, knowing how difficult it is to talk to him and how insecure she is at this time of her life.

The story unfolds as a journal, first in Lucy's hand, then in Pratt's. Each one gropes towards a reconciliation, but as soon as one seems possible, something interferes. For me, Lucy's account is superb. It is wonderful how the author digs deep into her character so that we can see and understand how difficult it is for her to find and trust love.

Since Pratt didn't have as much activity to offer as Lucy, the length of time for Lucy and Pratt to get to a resolution seemed a bit long. But the author's insight into his characters' feelings and the beautiful and moving way the story is written makes this a most worthwhile reading experience.

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