The Dutch House – by Ann Patchett – independent book review – Fiction

Here’s another engrossing read and bestseller from Ann Patchett about the lifelong relationship between two siblings and the house they grow up in. Awarded four stars on Goodreads.

The Dutch House is an oversize, hand-crafted mansion built by a wealthy Dutch couple outside Philadelphia. After their deaths the house, with all its contents, winds up in the hands of an ambitious real estate entrepreneur, his wife, and two children. It’s the relationship between these two children (Danny and Maeve) that is central in the book. Danny is the book’s narrator and his sister, six years older, becomes the central figure in his life.

While I won’t relay more details for fear of spoiling your own discovery of this wonderful story, the novel turns out to be full of rich, complex and deeply real relationships. It explores the ways well-meaning partners unintentionally overlook and hurt their mates. The profound, lifelong bond between parent and child. The ways blended families do and do not work out. And how unresolved childhood issues can haunt adult lives. They are stories about commitment and love, anger and revenge, deep loyalty, and the unreliable nature of memory.

Ann Patchett

The characters are richly drawn and multi-layered and it’s a pleasure to accompany them on their individual voyages of self-discovery. Highly recommended.

More about the author, Ann Patchett.

You may be interested in my reviews of other books by Ann Patchett:

This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage

State of Wonder