Following Adam Gopnik’s best-selling Paris to the Moon, the adventure continues against the panorama of another storied city. Autumn, 2000: the Gopnik family moves back to a New York that seems, at first, safer and shinier than ever. Here are the triumphs and travails of father, mother, son and daughter; and of the teachers, coaches, therapists, adversaries and friends who round out the extended urban family. From Bluie, a goldfish fated to meet a Hitchcockian end, to Charlie Ravioli, an imaginary playmate who, being a New Yorker, is too busy to play, Gopnik’s New York is charmed by the civilization of childhood.
It is a fabric of living, which, though rent by the events of 9/11, will reweave itself, reviving a world where Jewish jokes mingle with debates about the problem of consciousness, the price of real estate and the meaning of modern art. By turns elegant and exultant, written with a signature mix of mind and heart, Through the Children’s Gate is at once a celebration of a newly fragile city and a poignant study of a family trying to find its way, and joy, within it.