Fiction featuring Care experience

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The Dutch House

Ann Patchett

2019

A richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go. The Dutch House belongs to a tradition in both fairy tales and American fiction of motherless children (sometimes raised by their father, often with the aid of an aunt or trusty hired help) Two siblings, Maeve and Danny Conroy, bond tightly after their mother leaves home when they're 10 and 3. Home is the eponymous Dutch House, a 1922 mansion outside Philadelphia that their father, Cyril, a real estate mogul, bought fully furnished in an estate sale as a surprise for his wife in 1946, when Maeve was 5. The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures. Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past.