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The Dutch House

Ann Patchett
2019, 336 p.

In this novel a mansion provides the basis for the Conroys. Its called The Dutch House by locals because the first owners were of Dutch origin: the Van Hoebeek dynasty. Self-made property magnate, Cyril Conroy buys the mansion from the bank including the furnishings and personal belongings from the former owners. Cyrils wife Elna doesnt feel comfortable in the house and leaves her husband and their two children, Maeve and Danny. Cyril then marries Andrea, a young widow with two daughters. When Cyril dies Andrea disinherits Maeve and Danny. Its touching to read about the unconditional love between brother and sister; how they park their car in front of the mansion time and again and talk about the life they had together in the Dutch House. Ann Patchett shows herself to be a master in portraying characters. The reader gets to know them all well and understands why they make certain decisions whether they are wise or not.


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