The Dutch House by Ann Patchett


Cyril Conway is the father of Danny and Maeve and owner of The Dutch House. He made his fortune in real estate, the particulars of his background are not revealed until Danny is in his 40’s as he’s talking to his former nanny. The narrator and perspective are told from Danny’s point of view over a 50 year period. I was engaged with the dialogue from the beginning.

The observations in this book were so cleverly worded, I would go back and read them again. Too many to quote here but Danny was very introspective and Maeve never missed anything, she was so clever. I loved Maeve’s character.

Danny and Maeve were forced out of their home, the Dutch House, by Cyril’s second wife after he died. The bond between these two is touching, fiercely  loyal and you will forget you are reading a story rather than listening in on real conversations.

“Do you think it’s possible to ever see the past as it actually was?” I asked my sister Maeve as she stared at the Dutch house.   “But we overlay the present onto the past. We look back through the lens of what we know now, so we’re not seeing it as the people we were, we’re seeing as the people we are, and that means the past has been radically altered.”

Ann Patchett is an author new to me and I would like to thank JoAnn at Gulfside Musing for the recommendation. Patchett will be on my radar and I will most likely devour her books.  Excellent writing.

Some foodie items are mentioned but this isn’t a foodie book. I was immeditely inspired to have spaghetti after Cyril takes Danny to visit to Maeve in New York.

Danny was overwhelmed by the need to talk to his sister alone but he couldn’t do anything while his father was sitting there, the plan to have them eat lunch together and catch up. They went to an Italian restaurant and Danny ate a giant bowl of spaghetti.


Sharing with Carole’s Chatter for her Books you Loved May edition.

16 thoughts on “The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

  1. She has been on my to-read list for a while but I’ve never read anything by her. Great review. you know she owns Parnassus Books in Nashville? That’s on my to-visit list as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so happy you enjoyed this novel!! Ann Patchett is a favorite (pretty sure I’ve read everything she’d written now) and this is one of her best. Her nonfiction is excellent, too. I especially loved her essay collection This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. She narrates the audio version herself and it is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A friend on Twitter told me to try Bel Canto as well. She said she was was jealous that I will be discovering Commonwealth and State of Wonder so that speaks highly! Glad you recommended this one, JoAnn.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday – books that should be adapted to Netflix/Movies | Novel Meals

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