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Mallory is a successful artist who learnt early in life that art could provide him with an escape from the mundane and the unpleasant. He has never come to terms with the abduction of his infant son and daughter at the hands of his first wife, Fleur. But now, just as he discovers he is suffering from an incurable disease, it seems he may have found his daughter. His current marriage to the much younger Sueyen is in tatters, and his relationship with his exwife and their daughter, Kimberley, who has a severe disability, is in trouble as well. With art now failing him, Mallory finds solace in Em, the enigmatic young woman who has arrived to help him build a mudbrick house.The Pepper Gate is a finely crafted, character driven novel about truth, denial and sublimation, and the lengths to which we will go to preserve the life we seek for ourselves.