“The Dutch House” book rev

A “Read with Jenna” Today Show pic

The Dutch House is author Ann Patchett’s latest family saga centered around an impressive and stately Philadelphia mansion. The story is narrated by Danny Conroy and it’s a “brother-sister” story like no other!

I’ve read several of Patchett’s novels including Bel Canto and Commonwealth, but I confess, what drew me to her writing was Pat Conroy’s adoration and respect for her talent as a writer. A Lowcountry Heart is Conroy’s collection of essays on authors, favorite books, the writing industry and funny stories.

“For me, Ann Patchett went to the top of the class when she published Bel Canto, a book that knocked my socks off and did the same with the reading public, who were as hungry for such a book as I was. I read it on Pawleys Island, one of the magical places on the South Carolina coast, after Doug Marlette finished it and raved about it. Reading half the night, I completed the book the following day . . .When literature works there is nothing like it in the world. Ann Patchett did that wondrous, walking-on-water kind of thing–she created a whole world that contained grand opera, the revolutionary spirit always alive and close to the surface in Latin America, a seige, a story of Shakespearean grandeur. . . I had literature all over my face and hands when I finished that book. I thought then and I think now it’s one of the best novels I ever read or ever hope to read in my life.”

In addition to being an exceptional writer, she became an independent bookstore owner when her local store was about to close. She and former Random House rep Karen Hayes opened Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s  considered to be one of the best book stores in the Southeast. 

What I like about this book:

  • Tom Hanks narrates the audio version
  • The brother-sister relationship of Danny and Maeve is SO WELL-WRITTEN
  • Exploration of themes of forgiveness, inheritance, and belonging
  • The author loves one of my fave kidlit books, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

I highly recommend The Dutch House, especially if you lean toward epic, family saga tales with plenty of dysfunction along with devotion to one another.

This would make a great Christmas gift and if your recipient enjoys listening to books, try Libro.fm which supports independent bookstores.

Happy reading!

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