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Book Review

The Dutch House

Rating:

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett via @barbaradelinsky #BookReview #TheDutchHouse #books

I love Ann Patchett’s work – loved BEL CANTO, STATE OF WONDER, COMMONWEALTH, and now THE DUTCH HOUSE. I’d been so looking forward to reading it and wasn’t disappointed in the least.

A confession here. Tom Hanks read the audiobook, and I love Tom Hanks as well – so much that it’s possible I couldn’t quite picture Danny Conroy with Tom Hanks in the way. But he was masterful reading THE DUTCH HOUSE – brought to life the house and its full cast of characters.

But I digress. THE DUTCH HOUSE is the story of a unique house and its people – those who lived there once, now, and again.  The main voice, first-person narrator, is Danny Conroy, but his sister Maeve matches him in importance to the plot. This brother-sister relationship is exquisite. The supporting cast is wonderful as well – good people, all of whose lives are impacted by the house.

Funny, but I didn’t love the house itself, as in wanting to live there. But Danny and Maeve did, and when their mother deserted the family, their father remarried then died, and their step-mother kicked them out, their yearning for what the house represents draws them all together. Make no mistake. These characters are flawed – but beautifully. We come to love them all.

Ann Patchett is a master at expressing profound thoughts in simple language. She writes perfectly pitched dialogue, describing well-conceived characters and the emotions that plague them, perhaps plaguing us all.

And that house I didn’t love? It tied them together, bring them full circle in the end.

If you’re looking for a brilliantly written story of family and forgiveness, I highly recommend THE DUTCH HOUSE.

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