If you’re searching for a good book, Carmichael’s Community Book Club suggests adding The Dutch House by Ann Patchett to your reading list. Bri Esposito, former event and marketing coordinator for Carmichael’s, shares her thoughts about this book.
What have you learned from this book?
The Dutch House is a realistic portrayal of familial relationships. It’s about a multigenerational family where the sister is significantly older than the brother, and as a result, she almost raises him like a mom. That’s not a very common narrative, but I think it really shows how families relate to one another and what makes each one unique.
If you could hang out with one character from this book, who would it be?
Maeve, the main character’s older sister in the book, is very strong and independent. She would definitely be the most interesting to hang out with.
Why did the group choose this book?
Some of the members really pushed for this book, especially after seeing Patchett speak at a Carmichael’s event this past October. We vote on our books quarterly, and this one made the cut. I think many readers really connect with Ann Patchett because she has a classic, accessible way of writing, and she is very good at telling this kind of multigenerational story. It is not the typical kind of book that I would probably choose, but I am so glad we read it, and I am excited to hear what the group has to say about it later this month.
What other titles would you recommend to people who enjoy this book?
I would definitely recommend Bel Canto, also by Ann Patchett. Also, they should check out House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. It is another multigenerational story, with some magical realism in there as well.
What is the best book the group has read so far?
One book we read, which I recommend to everyone is The Gloaming by Melanie Finn. It’s a small press book and very well done. It’s about a woman whose husband leaves her. She’s in Switzerland alone and something tragic happens, and so she kind of runs away to Africa to get over it. It’s a really good character study, and I think it’s incredible. I’d also say Circe by Madeline Miller. It’s a retelling of a Greek myth from the feminine perspective and it really puts a unique feminist twist on Greek Mythology. It’s a retelling of the story from Circe’s perspective. She’s usually portrayed as a vengeful woman, best known for turning Odysseus’ men into pigs, but this book tells her side of the story.
What else should potential new members to the book club know?
Well, please join, first of all. We love new members. Carmichael’s sells the book the club is reading for 20% off. Some of our upcoming books are Girl, Woman, Other; Say Nothing; Sounds Like Titanic; and The Water Dancer. Check us out on Carmichael’s Events Page on Facebook.
Catching Up: Here’s What Other Clubs are reading Next
Long Before the End Book Club is reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande in March.
Louisville Book Babes is reading Lisa Jewell’s Then She Was Gone.
Modern Mrs. Darcy is reading The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow
P.S. Another book for you to read.
BY VANESSA HUTCHISON