Our booksellers recommend Ann Patchett’s new novel
Our staff are big fans of Ann Patchett and so we’re thrilled to have her new book in store this month! The Dutch House is a modern day fairytale of family, love and betrayal. Here are a sample of our booksellers' glowing early responses to the novel.
‘ The Dutch House is the life story of Danny Conroy, a frank and reliable narrator. It begins as his parents move to the impressive and ostentatious ‘Dutch House’ bought by his father, Cyril Conroy, who had created great wealth through a vast real estate empire. Although meant as a surprise for his wife, Elna, Cyril’s purchase of the house sets in motion the eventual downfall of his family. His wife leaves, a replacement is found and his children, Danny and his older sister Maeve, are thrown into the street. Set over generations, this story has all the elements of a cautionary fairytale like Hansel and Gretel.
Let Ann Patchett into your life; know that your inclusion will ensure you are privy to characters that will become part of your life. Danny will make you weep for all the lost intentions that he could not control. A powerful empathetic read.’
– Chris Gordon
‘An opulent house, a family riven by abandonment and death and the unbreakable bond between two siblings makes for a compelling story. Ann Patchett has created a cast of characters that are nuanced and slowly revealed, all to varying degrees obsessed with a mansion that holds many secrets. The Dutch House is family drama at its best.’
– Alexa Dretzke
‘I found The Dutch House such an absorbing novel, it covered a large sweep of time yet still made so much of the small moments. Patchett does such a great job of bonding the reader to Danny and Maeve; I really cared about them to the point where I wanted to defend them against the clearly infuriating people that surround them. I also love books that make place a character in itself, and the Dutch House was truly alive to me.’
– Leanne Hall
‘Ann Patchett’s quiet confidence and masterful prose is as good as ever in her latest fiction offering. The Dutch House is a wholly absorbing novel. Patchett has a keen sense of the nuances in family relationships and siblings Danny and Maeve are the kind of characters that will get under your skin. Their surreal and resplendent family home has a looming presence throughout the entire story – even when it isn’t the focal point, it seems to linger, almost tantalisingly, just out of frame.
The Dutch House has been described as a modern fairy tale and I enjoyed the ways Patchett takes inspiration from these familiar stories to shape the contours of her narrative. Her distinctive take on the wicked stepmother is particularly memorable, especially when put in contrast with the children’s biological mother. I highly recommend this moving family drama.’
– Bronte Coates