The Conroy siblings sit in a car across the street from their childhood home. A home they are no longer welcome to enter. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett is told from Danny Conroy’s point of view spanning over 50 years as he reflects on his life and its dysfunctional relationships.
The Dutch House is an incredibly poignant tale of love, loss and unexplored hurt spanning over decades.
With a physically absent mother and an emotionally absent father, Danny and sister Maeve have always had each other, the one stable in each others’ lives. The Dutch House is where they meet Andrea, a woman that has made it her mission to insert herself in their father’s life and it’s in the Dutch House, she unceremoniously turfs them out.
Patchett does a phenomenal job in creating rich and fully detailed characters that you cannot help but be interested in. Even cold and aloof characters such as Andrea and Cyril are somewhat relatable and never truly unlikable. Whilst Danny is the narrator of this tale, I think all that have read The Dutch House can agree that the titular location is the true primary character. It is not often you see a place or location humanised so effectively.
The story woven throughout time is one many people can relate to and is told in such an immersive way. A story is entirely human, which is what makes it beautiful.
The Dutch House shares the lessons; reflection is important, time heals all wounds and there is kindness in forgiveness – even when the person doesn’t necessarily deserve it.
I listened to the audiobook of The Dutch House narrated by the one and only, Tom Hanks. In my opinion, this only added to my enjoyment as his voice had me captivated further by the novel. Hanks does a great job of encompassing Danny and bringing life into the Dutch House.
Whether listening to as an audiobook or reading, The Dutch House is a worthy entry on your TBR list.
Have you read The Dutch House yet? What were your thoughts?
The Dutch House – Ann Patchett: 4/5 Stars
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