Strait Is the Gate
By Andre Gide
The title of this novel, Strait Is the Gate is a direct reference to a saying in bible. “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14). In a small Northern town in France, cousins Jerome and Alissa confess the undying love for each other. However, haunted by her mother’s infidelity and her eternal strive for moral perfection, Alissa leads him on, making him hang onto her every word of false promises. Her interpretation of the the Bible interferes with her desire for happiness, making her reject human love, while Jerome leads an orderly, conscientious life to live up to her standards. However, he fails to notice that Juliette, the younger sister of Alissa holds affection for him, which leads to Juliette marrying a man she does not love. Disheartened by her cold rejection and constant temperament, Jerome often leaves her, only to come back again under unfounded belief that she would some day accept his proposal for marriage and love. Meanwhile, Alissa suffers from a mysterious self-induced malady that leads her to her eventual death. This novel, written by a French Nobel Laureate Andre Gide, is about adolescence and love, nostalgia and passion. I would definitely recommend reading this book, even if you’re not a fan of romance(trust me, I’m not), you would appreciate the beautiful language and an unforgettable story, built on the foundation of stark, humane principle.