Many, many years ago, I confessed to my book group that I’d never read Anna Karenina. Oh, the shame!! That Christmas, I dutifully bought myself a copy and devoured it. Similarly, I recently confessed to some book tragic friends that I’d never read an Ann Patchett book, so I borrowed my Mum’s copy of The Dutch House, and now want to read ALL her books.
The Dutch House was an absolute treat. The flawed characters, the piecing together of key events and relationships through the multiple timelines, the gender roles and expectations, and, of course, the house, are all woven together to create a rich story, replete with thought-provoking themes such as the nature of home, family, forgiveness and future.
The Dutch House, with the furnishings and portraits of its previous owners, was influential in the district as well as in the lives of those who inhabited it. Yet, for Danny and Maeve, it represented the hope, but ultimate failure, of a happy home and childhood, and the unshakeable anguish of what might have been.
Patchett’s use of Danny as narrator ensured that only his perspective was provided, so while there were unanswered questions, particularly about the ‘evil stepmother’ Andrea, his insights and reflections were profound and the reader was intimately acquainted with each member of the family.
And so, my to-be-read pile continues to grow with other acclaimed Ann Patchett novels I need to devour.
Please find here an assorted mix of what I tend to read - new books, old books, birthday gifts, gifts to myself, books from my to-be-read pile, Book Group books, fiction, non-fiction, memoirs - basically a weird assortment of goodies!
Please follow the arrows at the bottom of the page for more reflections.