November 8, 2019
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Genre/Categories: Complicated Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Siblings
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
***Recommending the audio book performed by Tom Hanks for this read!
Siblings Danny and Maeve are living in The Dutch House when their mother abandons the family. Their father remarries, but after he dies, their (wicked) stepmother kicks Danny and Maeve out of her life and out of the house. Suddenly, all Danny and Maeve have is each other. This story explores their complicated lives and relationships.
Amazon Rating: 4.4 Stars
Writing: If you love Ann Patchett and her heavily character-driven stories and beautifully written literary fiction, you will likely love The Dutch House. If you’re looking for a page-turning plot, you might like to look elsewhere. If you love complicated family drama with a great deal of reflection, stick around! Danny and Maeve analyze every aspect of their childhood experiences including the domestic help, their father, the (wicked!) stepmother and her children, and, of course, the Dutch House.
Characters: Danny is the matter-of-fact narrator and Maeve is the overprotective and, at times, controlling older sister. We feel a great deal of compassion for these siblings as we learn more about their abandonment in various ways by mom, dad, and stepmother. One character I had difficulty connecting with was the mom….her actions were not believable to me. May I recommend the audio version where Tom Hanks BECOMES Danny!
Themes: Thoughtful themes in The Dutch House include an incredibly close sibling relationship, the effects of abandonment on children, wealth and privilege, materialism, family loyalty, expectations, revenge, greed, compassion, childhood, and memories. If my book club reads this, one topic I’d like to discuss is the house as a symbol or metaphor for childhood. The most fascinating part of the story for me is when Danny and Maeve return to the house (parking out front) over and over again throughout their lives to reminisce about their childhood and to work through their various viewpoints and feelings. It seems to me that this “therapy” is the real heart of the story.
Audio: I listened to the audio of The Dutch House because I couldn’t resist Tom Hanks as the narrator! He is magnificent as Danny! Honestly, this story might have been a DNF for me except for the performance of Tom Hanks. I highly recommend the audio version!
Content Warning: Medical issues related to diabetes
Recommended: I recommend The Dutch House for fans of Ann Patchett, for those who appreciate literary fiction, and for readers who love character-driven stories and beautiful writing.
My Rating: 3.5 Stars (rounded to 4 stars on Goodreads)
The Dutch House Information (affiliate link)
This is my Review of the Month for the review collection on LovelyAudiobooks.info
Meet the Author, Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett was born in Los Angeles in 1963 and raised in Nashville. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In 1990, she won a residential fellowship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she wrote her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars. Patchett is well known for Bel Canto. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Karl VanDevender.
Are you an Ann Pachett fan? If so, what is your favorite Ann Pachett book?
Is The Dutch House on your TBR?
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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
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Fab review Carol!
Thanks Nicki! 👍😍
will have a look at this…I’ve run a book club for 15 years now. 🙂
Let me know when you read it how it goes! Happy reading!👍😍
Thanks for confirming my decision to get this book on audio! Great review, Carol💜
Yes Jonetta! Definitely audio! TH is wonderful in the role of Danny! Happy reading Jonetta! 👍😍
COMPLICATED FAMILYYY DRAMAAA!! YAYYYYYY!! 😍😍😍❤️❤️😍 And I love literary fiction! Been wanting to read this one for some time! Saw this on Pinterest and added it to tbr asap but NOW AFTER READING YOUR REVIEWW…I GOTTAAA READ IT ASAPP!! 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍 LOVELY REVIEW, Carol! ❤️❤️💕💕🤩☔️☔️
Thanks Rain! I hope you enjoy it! Let me know! 😍👍
I DEFINITELYY WILL! ❤️😍🌟☔️
Hey! I just…wanted to make sure you got my comment because…I just left one and it disappeared the next second! 🤣🤣
Yes! WordPress is weird sometimes! 😘
I just finished reading this, this week. I really enjoyed this book! Typical Patchett, which I truly enjoy.
Yes, I think readers that appreciate Pachett will love this one! Thanks for commenting!👍😍
You’re welcome 😇
[…] Genre: character-driven, literary, historical fiction ***UPDATE: 3.5 Stars (rounded to 4 on Goodreads). Dysfunctional family drama. Full review here. […]
[…] 3.5 Stars. Love and recommend the narration by Tom Hanks! My full review here. […]
I seen this book around Goodreads. I don’t mind slow reads and might consider picking this up.
Thanks! It’s a fascinating character driven story……I recommend the audio! Enjoy! 👍😍
I have this book on my TBR list. I enjoyed your review.
Thank you! I hope you enjoy!👍
I found you through the Lovely Audiobooks Link-up. What a wonderful review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book.
Im so happy we connected Gina! Welcome and thanks for your kind words and for commenting!
[…] My Summary: “Siblings Danny and Maeve are living in The Dutch House when their mother abandons the family. Their father remarries, but after he dies, their stepmother kicks Danny and Maeve out of her life and out of the house. Suddenly, all Danny and Maeve have is each other. This story explores their complicated lives and relationships.” My review of The Dutch House. […]
[…] The Dutch House by Ann Pachett #throwbackthursday […]
So… my husband read her book Bel Canto and wasn’t thrilled with it, so when we saw it on the shelves he decided against it. Great review!
Thanks! It’s a dreary story but Tom Hanks brings it to life! Lots of layers to discuss! I think the print version might have been a DNF.
I loved this book. I agree with you though about the very strange behaviour of the mother. Thank you for this review.
Children can never recover from abandonment I think….so sad.
[…] Ann Patchett: I have her most famous work, Bel Canto, on my TBR. I enjoyed The Dutch House narrated by Tom Hanks; however, Commonwealth wasn’t as enjoyable for me. Are you an Ann Patchett […]