When I discovered a new Ann Patchett book was being released this year, I was beside myself! There is not an Ann Patchett book that I’ve not loved, and if I was forced to choose a favourite author, Ms Patchett would be it.
I devoured The Dutch House in three sittings, disappointed there wasn’t more to continue reading. It’s a book I am certain to read again; packed with fabulous characters, as usual, and so easy and enjoyable to read long into the night.
The Dutch House is told through the eyes of Danny, from a young boy through to a middle-aged man. He is born into The Dutch House: a staggering, beautiful mansion in Pennsylvania. His mother is absent and his father is a distant man, but Danny and his kind older sister, Maeve, are very close. Then one day, Danny’s father brings home Andrea: a woman who wants The Dutch House to be her own. It doesn’t take long for Danny and Maeve to be banished from the house, but as the decades pass, the siblings continue to be drawn back to look upon their childhood home.
This beautiful novel looks at fraught family relationships, the love of siblings, the pull of a true calling and the ashes it can leave behind. Patchett tells of flawed relationships and human behaviours so eloquently, describing the mundane parts of our everyday lives with humour, vivid detail and compassion.
My only criticism of the book would be the poor proof reading. My eye was drawn to eight errors, and I can only assume there were more throughout. Ann – if you read this – I would be more than happy to cast my eye over your next draft, before it heads to the printers!
I’d recommend The Dutch House to any lover of literary fiction, and think it will be a popular book to gift.
Reviewed by Celeste