I listened to this book during the Fall when the world was a different place; I don't know about you, but that seems like a once upon a time. Maybe that's why this review got a little bit lost in the shuffle. Nevertheless, to say I enjoyed this book would be inaccurate. Appreciated it is a better word. This is one you have to be in the right head space to value for its literary genius.
Tom Hanks narrates the audible version and does a beautiful job as a poignant storyteller as the character of Danny.
If you are looking for a feel-good traditional, happy ending story, this might not be your first choice. Masterfully written with a melancholy tone, hope is present, but you will have to search for it a bit. The sibling dynamic is spot on and makes this story relatable on multiple levels.
Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
New York Times Bestseller | A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick | A New York Times Book Review Notable Book | TIME Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of 2019
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, The Washington Post; O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Vogue, Refinery29, and Buzzfeed
Ann Patchett, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth, delivers her most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go. The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves and of who we really are.
At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.
The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.
Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.
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Amanda H. Williams
Thank you for reading my scribbles!
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Photo used under Creative Commons from Gayle Nicholson