Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following:
Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
THE HYPE IS REAL. (Honestly, that should be enough for this review.)
First and foremost, I was on the fence about Commonwealth, so I was worried I’d be on the fence about The Dutch House, and also very concerned about listening to the audiobook, being that Commonwealth had so many characters- I was afraid The Dutch House would follow suit. But believe me when I say, HAVE NO FEAR. The audiobook is the absolute way to read this novel.
Tom Hanks beautifully (and dry-humorously) gives a voice to main character Danny, a young man who is the son of a real-estate mogul named Cyril Conroy. Danny’s father was an ambitious young man who grew up poor and then became a DIY realtor/landlord. While his family was still young and growing, he decided to surprise his wife, Elna, by investing in the Dutch House, an beautiful estate outside Philadelphia. Elna hated it, but Danny and his older sister Maeve admired the home, full of secret nooks and hidden gems from the wealthy past owners.
Cyril was convinced that owning the Dutch House was the surest way to state that he was a successful, bootstrapping man, but Elna struggled with the shear size of the house, and the way it eventually left her feeling purposeless in a run-household. After some family drama, she leaves Cyril for India and a higher calling, much to the devastation of her children. Danny’s narrative takes the reader over a fifty year saga about a bond between family and childhood home.
The Dutch House is a wonderfully crafted, character driven tale with emotional impact, clever humor, and a beautiful sibling relationship that easily resounds with it’s readers. This is the Ann Patchett that her fans rave about, and when a collaboration gains Tom Hanks and his charismatic character voice, it’s an automatic home run. Do yourself a favor and go buy the audiobook- you won’t be disappointed.
Characters List: An exemplary list of all the characters can be found here.
Published: September 24th, 2019
TL/DR: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett is a family saga circling around a childhood home, and the relationships that formed within and outside it’s walls.
Read it? YES! Seriously, even if you have to be on a weeks-long waitlist, LISTEN TO THIS AUDIOBOOK.
Recommend it? Definitely!
Buy it? Yep, this will be one I’ll end up purchasing just because I loved it so much.
If you liked this novel or review, check out these similar reads:
- Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
- The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver