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The Pepper Gate

The Pepper Gate

Author: Genna De Bont

Down the hallway we hobbled, moving as one, like an ant carrying a burden much larger than itself. Out through the exit, so we didn't have to return to the waiting room. A one-way circuit with people like me in mind: the difficult ones.

For successful artist Mallory Smith, painting has always been an escape – from his lonely childhood, his turbulent relationships with his three wives, and the birth of a daughter with a severe disability. But art is failing him now. Since being diagnosed with a terminal illness only two things matter: finishing the mudbrick house he started, and getting to know Em, the enigmatic young woman who must surely be the daughter he has not seen in twenty years.

As Mallory traces his colourful past, we see him through the eyes of the women in his life. His ex-wife Margaret challenges him to face his future, while his much younger wife Sueyen buries herself in her work to escape their failing marriage. The Pepper Gate is a compelling and unpredictable novel about building relationships and deconstructing the past.