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.
I changed my mind on this book maybe three – four times. Pretty cover -> meh summary -> positive reviews -> where is this story going? -> Oh. Oh wow.
Wasn’t that an exciting trip to go on?
This book is the house it’s about, but at the same time its story never gets as bright and colourful as the interior of the house. Even before the big thing that changes everything happens, there’s a thick gray layer over not just the people of this story, but the story itself.
It doesn’t make the story less appealing, but it did make me long towards that version of the story: if Ann Patchett would halfway flip to the owners under whom the house prospered, I wouldn’t even have minded and this coming from the woman who despises different times – same houses stories.
Still, the story as it is found its way under my skin. On family, on bitterness, on deciding what you need for yourself instead of for someone else. And in the end – yes: oh wow.
The Dutch House, Ann Patchett, HarperCollins 2019