Book Review,  Recipe

The Dutch House

author, Ann Patchett 

narrator, Tom Hanks 
setting, Philadelphia

Book Rating: 3/5
A moving autobiographical fiction novel, The Dutch House focuses on the relationship between two siblings, Danny and Maeve Conroy. This was my very first Ann Patchett novel and I wanted to LOVE it!! It was beautifully written. Ms. Patchett is very definitely talented. I could feel the moods that settled over different scenes. I found myself thinking about parts of this book while doing dishes or rocking my baby to sleep. The lives of Danny and Maeve built a compelling story but I didn’t keep-walking-in-the-rainstorm-because-I-couldn’t-stop-listening ”love” it. (I miss you Crawdads!) Also, I couldn’t attach to the characters which is usually very easy for this empath. 
Overall, the DH felt like such a slow read to me. I kept waiting for something exciting to happen. I wasn’t compelled to read it at every possible moment. I had unanswered questions and disliked some of the characters. This doesn’t mean I didn’t like the book as a whole! I just didn’t “love” love it- but you might!

Audiobook Performance: 5/5 Full disclosure: I adore Tom Hanks. I am a major fan! That being said, Tom Hanks made this book for me. His range of emotion filled this book with the life it lacked without narration. I loved his sarcastic inflections and lighthearted Chapter announcements. If it wasn’t for Tom Hanks and the fact that this was a Buddy Read, The Dutch House could easily have been a DNF for me. 

Food Rating: 3/5 The Dutch house had passing mentions of food. They weren’t descriptive events in the book, but they had meaning or made a point. Also, there were some delectable dishes that I felt compelled to recreate. Scroll down for a list of recipes.

Nerdy Facts

  • Patchett wrote two versions of The Dutch House. She disliked the first version so much that she threw it away.
  • “I didn’t want a house on the cover, or any element of a house, a door, a window, nothing. Because it had to exist in the reader’s imagination.” Ann Patchett, interview with Waterstones. September 25, 2019

If you’ve read The Dutch House, did you picture what the mansion looked like in your head? I was so very curious and disappointed that it wasn’t based on a real building. So off to Shutterstock I went to compile these 9 photos of Dutch houses. Is there a home here that lines up with your mental picture? I’d love to know! Number 3 is my pick.

Recipes

Click on the photos to go to the recipes. 

Apricot Thumbprints

“Jocelyn shrugged and Sandy reached down for the thumb-print cookie with the round spot of apricot jam.
“Well,” Maeve said, “we were always happy when she came home.”
Sandy smiled and nodded. “Always,” she said.”
Chapter 7

Beef & Barley Stew

“Sandy and Jocelyn had always run the house with complete autonomy. Maybe on occasion we would tell them how nice it would be to have beef stew with dumplings again, or that wonderful apple cake, but even that was rare. They knew what we liked and they gave it to us without our needing to ask.”
Chapter 4

Dumplings

“Sandy and Jocelyn had always run the house with complete autonomy. Maybe on occasion we would tell them how nice it would be to have beef stew with dumplings again, or that wonderful apple cake, but even that was rare. They knew what we liked and they gave it to us without our needing to ask.”
Chapter 4

Minestrone Soup

“They were regular people now, not the people who worked for us. Still, they handed over one big jar of minestrone “soup (Maeve’s favorite) and another of beef stew (mine).”
Chapter 7

Lemon Crullers

“They made their own crullers. I’ve never found anything like them. On Sunday after church there’d be a line down the block.”
“The waitress laughed when we asked for a cruller. She said they were gone by eight o’clock every”
Chapter 5

The Nerdy Gourmet
The Nerdy Gourmet

Hi friends!! I’m Jenni, The Nerdy Gourmet. I love books and I love food. Combining the two with a splash of travel has become my passion. I am a self taught cook/baker and I believe that everyone can cook from scratch! I’m here with recipes and Nerdy Tips to help along the way.  
I review books, mostly ‘read’ via audio, and I create recipes inspired by the story lines. Sometimes if I am deeply moved by a story, I will travel and try my best to experience the book- and bring you along via my blog! I provide all the photographs and content for the Nerdy Gourmet (unless otherwise noted). 

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