The Gate House
Grand Central Publishing (2008)
Reviewed by Danelle Drake for Reader Views (12/08)
“The Gate House,” like a good ole’ bottle of wine should be savored. When I saw that the sequel to “The Gold Coast” was out, I just couldn’t wait to read it. After reading some of the initial reviews, I was hoping it would not be a ghastly offering. So with my own good ole’ bottle of wine I curled up on the couch by a roaring fire, cleared my mind of all things good, bad, and indifferent I had read in the reviews and delved into the rest of the story.
John Sutter has been a favorite character of mine since reading “The Gold Coast” many years ago. Not a really nice guy, but one of those memorable ones. He was just one of those I felt almost human amidst his flaws, and from time to time over the years, found myself wondering what he was doing (usually after I had had one too many to drink). “The Gate House” picks up the story ten years later with John returning to the Gold Coast of Long Island to attend the funeral of one of the family’s previous employees. Then, as we review what happened in “The Gold Coast,” we continue on with sex, drinking (lots and lots of drinking), shopping (sometimes even too much for a shop-a-holic), and did I say sex. All in all, I did enjoy “The Gate House.” With a blank slate, it is a good entertaining book. When taken into context with other DeMille work, in my personal opinion, it is lacking. He has made his 5-star so 5-star, that it is almost unfair to judge his work by his own excellence.
Okay, there are parts of the book that really do not make any sense, when you really think about it. And yes, it is a bit wordy and has some plot quirks, but it is a book of fiction, so slow down and let the pages sink in. Nelson DeMille writes to entertain, not educate; so let’s not be too critical. “The Gate House” is good fiction – just be sure and have that glass of wine.