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The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

2019, Harper, HarperCollins

Our bookclub rating: 👍

Thanks to my bookclub bestie, Jane, for reminding me of her thoughts on this past read. When did we read this book anyway? Before Covid? Or was it in the middle of Covid, when we were allowed out of our houses for awhile before being locked back in?!

Reading The Dutch House, Jane was struck by how a house could mean so many different things to different members of a family and have such power over them and their destinies. The novel's ever-present abode is linked to memory, love and loss in the minds of siblings Maeve and Danny, abandoned first by their mother, then their father, and lastly by their stepmother.

The mother is a unique character not often seen in fiction (or real life for that matter); she leaves her children and becomes a nun. This is one of several threads questioning maternity sewn into the novel, which also explores paternal roles. Answers are left to the reader's interpretation.

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