The Dutch House is another fine novel from Ann Patchett. It has it all - a beautiful mansion, a distant, secretive father, siblings abandoned by their mother, a wicked stepmother and her two daughters, reversal of fortune and cruel twists of fate..."A darkfairy tale" as one reviewer wrote. And like a fairy tale the house itself is part of the whole tale, an elegant, lovely, ghostly presence.This novel has a wonderful cast of characters that are believable, compelling and all very human. The portrait of a family is well drawn with their courage, rage, love, loyalty and finally grace.
This wonderful book is the story of Antonia Vega, a recently retired professor of English, her three adult sisters, one of whom has gone missing, and a pregnant Mexican teen miigrant in rural Vermont. It moves quietly with compassion and candor as Antonia struggles with these present day issues in her life. Julia Alvarez's writing is beautiful. The parts that involve Antonia and her siblings are especially so. The story is at times sad, but there is humor as well.