Book Clubbin’: 10 Discussion Questions for The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Welcome to our monthly blog feature — Book Clubbin’!
Sometimes life can get busy, we get it! That’s why listening to an audiobook can allow you to read so much more than you already do! Press play on your current listen during your commute, while you’re cooking dinner, or after the kids go to sleep — the possibilities are endless!

Every month we pick a popular book club pick and set up some discussion questions to get you and your book club going. This month, we’ve got questions for The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. This book has been taking the world by storm, and news traveled fast when it was announced that Tom Hanks would be narrating Patchett’s latest release. Already a smash hit, The Dutch House was selected as 2019’s Book of the Year by publications such as The TimesGuardianDaily TelegraphWashington Post, and more. Plus, it was Jenna Bush Hager’s October choice for her book club, Read with Jenna.

So take a peek at our questions, and as always, remember there MAY be some spoilers in here!

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) What allows Maeve and Danny’s relationship to persevere throughout everything they go through together?

2) Why do you think Andrea was so spiteful toward Maeve and Danny? Would you go as far as to label her as an “evil stepmother?”

3) Academy award-winning actor, Tom Hanks, narrates the audiobook for The Dutch House. Do you think that celebrity narrators add to the experience of listening to an audiobook or take away from it?

4) Even after finishing medical school, Danny still feels drawn to working with construction and building houses. Why do you think this is?

5) Do you think the setting of Philadelphia was integral to the story or could this have taken place somewhere else?

6) The story is told from the perspective of an adult Danny Conroy. Do you think this impacted how the story was told? Do you think it would have been more effective from another character’s perspective?

7) The Dutch House takes place over a span of five decades. Do you think this amount of time was necessary? Could the same message have been conveyed in a shorter period of time or could Patchett have stretched it out even longer?

8) What do you think the Dutch House represents for Maeve and Danny? And why do they continue to revisit it?

9) Is there a place that resonates with you the same way the Dutch House resonates with Maeve and Danny?

10) Is there a specific character or storyline that you wish you could follow after the audiobook ends to see what happens next?


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