"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Review and quotes: The Dutch House

Title: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Book Beginnings quote:
The first time our father brought Andrea to the Dutch House, Sandy, our housekeeper, came to my sister's room and told us to come downstairs. "Your father has a friend he wants you to meet," she said.
Friday 56 quote:
"That's still my job," Sandy said. I hadn't heard Sandy get in a joke in months, if there was in fact anything funny about Maeve moving to the third floor.
Summary: When Cyril Conroy buys the Dutch House as a gift for his wife and two children, Maeve and Danny, he is shocked at his wife's reaction. She hates it. The purchase of the house sets in motion an undoing of a family. Danny, the books narrator, and his older sister, Maeve, rely heavily on each other for support after their mother leaves and their step-mother exiles them from the house. The sibling bond is unshakable and it saves both of their lives, yet also seems to thwart them at the same time. Described as a dark fairy tale on the book jacket, the story takes place over five decades and tells the tale of how two smart siblings cannot seem to overcome their past and at the center of the story is the odd but beguiling mansion, the Dutch House.

Review: I listened to audio version of The Dutch House narrated by Tom Hanks. What a rare treat to listen to a book read by a favorite actor. This narration truly brought the story to life. My husband also listened to the book so we got a chance to digest the book together along the way. I hadn't really thought of the story as a fairy tale until I read the description on the book jacket and then I smiled. Of course it is, there is a wicked step-mother and two spoiled step-siblings. There is also a bumbling father and a gorgeous, yet unrealistic setting in the Dutch House.

Two things really made this book special for me. One was the extraordinary relationship between Maeve and Danny. They had no one but each other and that was enough. Throughout the forty plus years of the story line, they had each other and that made all the difference. Few stories in literature have created such a deep bond between siblings. Secondly, the ending. It was perfect and worth a re-read all on its own. And, as an aside, I do love the cover, too, which is part of the story, too.

This is a book club selection for a future meeting. As much as I loved the book I am not sure it will make for a good discussion. I hope we can probe into the concept of forgiveness to get at the depth of the story.

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from current book.
Th
e Friday56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56 to share.


 RHS Book Club upcoming selection for sometime in 2020.

15 comments:

  1. This sounds like an excellent story. Thanks for mentioning it. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I absolutely loved this book! I wasn't expecting a lot from it initially, but the characters, especially Maeve, really wormed their way into my heart and I was so sad to let the book go in the end. (I definitely cried a little at the end.) I also liked the fairy tale elements that came out slowly but surely. Tom Hanks sounds like the perfect narrator for this, I might have to find a way to listen to that one. I hope you have a lovely weekend and do drop by my Friday Post if you have the time! - Juli @ A Universe in Words

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've heard great things about this book. I hope you love it! Happy Friday the 13th weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The audio version is narrated by Tom Hanks? Fun! I'd listen to it just to hear him.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ann Patchett's novels can be a bit deep to wander through, but I bet listening to Tom Hank's would really help make them more pleasurable. Glad you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had no idea Tom Hanks narrated the audiobook. How cool! Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have this one on my Kindle, and now I'm really eager to read it. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am enjoying it so far, and will hope that we'll find good questions that will lead to discussion. We can always delve into our own sibling relationships!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I read this book earlier in the month for one of my book clubs. Some of the characters and their behaviors were disturbing, which led to a good discussion.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like Ann Patchet so may give this one a try; it's getting good reviews.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That's so interesting that the audiobook of this was narrated by Tom Hanks! Sure does sound like a joy to listen to. Sounds like a good book!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I really like the sound of this book and am glad you liked it. It doesn't hurt that Tom Hanks narrates the audio version. Have a great week, Anne.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, your review really made me want to consider The Dutch House :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ooh, I'll have to listen to the audiobook. :)

    ReplyDelete

Your turn. Please comment below.