The latest book from Ann Patchett, “The Dutch House,” is one of the most satisfying novels of the year. It’s very much about family, forgiveness and the myriad meanings of inheritance.
The house at the heart of the novel was completed in 1922, having been commissioned by the VanHoebeek family and situated in the Elkins Park area of Philadelphia. “Seen from certain vantage points of distance, it appeared to float several inches above the hill it sat on. The panes of glass that surrounded the glass front doors were as big as storefront windows and held in place by wrought-iron vines. The windows both took in the sun and reflected it back across the wide lawn.”