Welcome to our second week discussion of…
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
We read chapters 8-15 this week. What did you think? What are you liking so far? What questions are popping up for you?
Start discussing in the comments below!
For next Tuesday, June 2, we’ll read part III of the book (chapters 16-20).
Join us on Thursday, June 4 at 6pm EDT for a discussion over Zoom. Click here for details!
Haven’t gotten your copy yet? Click here to see how you can join the discussion.
I really like this book. It brings up a lot of issues many are faced with. These are questions I wonder will they be answered in Part 3. Why aren’t Maeve and Danny angry at their Dad and Mom instead of Andrea? Cyril bought a house that his wife Elna could not stand to live in. Next Elna abandoned her husband and children to free up her time to do good works. Next Cyril tells her not to come back and decides that she is dead. Now he marries Andrea. Are they really even legally married? Andrea proceeds to lock in her best interests and the only thing left for Maeve and Danny is an education fund that only applies to Danny even though Cyril must have known Maeve was planning for more education.
I’m afraid I just kept reading ahead as well so am not sure if any comment I make would be appropriate. The mix of dysfunctional family (really liked Andrea who reminded me of Hansel and Gretel’s stepmom,) although “liked” may not be the right word along with the caring Maeve was intriguing. In my extended family someone was cut out of his rightful inheritance too because the executor of the will (his brother) deemed the other brother “not a good enough Christian” to get what was his due. My oh my.
There is the mystery of the mom who disappeared but somehow I knew she wasn’t a total baddie. Houses have secrets and even a pretty one may be a cage. One thing I noticed is how Ann Patchett sort of moves the timeline of the characters (such as letting the reader know Celeste would divorce Maeve’s brother,) confused me now and again but I got it at last.
I’m really enjoying this book but stopped until now as I don’t want to forget any details for the book club . I’m anxious to do ish it and see how it ends.
I don’t like being the first to comment but I guess someone has to do it. I finished the book so I want to be careful not to be a spoiler. While the characters pre-date me, I enjoyed–if that’s the right word when talking about difficult times–the reminders of major social-history events. While the Dutch House is in a suburb of Philadelphia, much of the book occurs in NYC–my NYC . (Besides, I spent a lot of time going between NY and Philadelphia when I was younger so the I could find myself sitting “close-up” to the characters. I think I mentioned before that Patchett has gift for playing with chronology.