Thursday, December 5, 2019


The Dutch House by the best selling author Ann Patchett is truly a fairy tale with elements of Cinderella, The Little Princess and Hansel and Gretel. 

Patchett may be one of the most beloved authors known for her novels The Patron Saint of Liars, Bel Canto, and This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage. I must read some of these.

Cyril Conroy, a poverty-stricken real state agent, makes a lucky investment and becomes wealthy. He enjoys buying old buildings and collecting monthly rent from the tenants.  Cyril buys The Dutch House, a 1922 grand mansion in a Philadelphia suburb as a gift for his wife Elna. Their children Maeve and Danny, seven years younger, are the central characters in the story related by Danny and form a close bond from early childhood. Elna hates the house and abandons the family, disappearing for parts unknown. Cyril eventually divorces Elna and brings in Andrea as a stepmother. Like Hansel and Gretel, Danny and Maeve are driven from The Dutch House, returning to a life of poverty and maintaining a close relationship that continues throughout the story.

Don’t let the fairy tale concept turn you off. This story is one of human relationships with unexpected twists and turns. It is a page-turner and if not already a best seller it almost certainly soon will be. I highly recommend it.