The Dutch House
Don't we all love a little family drama, especially when property is involved?
Despite having been away from my Dubai book club for nearly a year, I continue to read the books they choose. Sucker for punishment, I guess!
I originally joined this group because they selected books that I might not pick on my own. That was the whole reason I joined this book club in the first place: they had tastes and interests in books so wholly different from my own, and they brought me into the fold of newer books, more modern authors. (I was stuck in the classics, where I was happy, but not very fun to talk to at parties.)
Before the discussion of the book, the founder asked us via WhatsApp for topics and themes, and I’m afraid I may have overwhelmed her with the thoughts I had at that particular moment: how we become like our parents whether we want to or not, living your life in a way that makes others happy but not you (a kind of self-sacrifice), how simple objects can tear families apart, how poorly family members communicate with one another, how parental neglect can cause irreversible damage, how (not to) let go of grudges …
This is the story of Maeve and Danny as they repeat their parents’ mistakes without realizing they are doing so. Here are two people who are unable to move forward with their lives because of an object holding them back. It’s a lesson about how focusing too much on the past can prevent you from living in the present.
What I hope to remember about this book is that life is very short, and we should appreciate everyone we have around us at all times.
Title: The Dutch House
Author: Ann Patchett
Genre: Literary fiction
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