Friday, September 13, 2019

Homes, Hearts, Hearths: Infinite Home (Alcott) and The Dutch House (Patchett)

I think that I need to catch up a bit and that means tempering my rambling tendencies...

Infinite Home by Kathleen Alcott
In a sense, Edith has collected strays. An intellectually challenged man whose sister is rarely far, a beautiful recluse truly afraid of all, an artist (former) who has been altered by stroke, a comic. But as Edith's mind fails and her son sniffs around,  they fear losing apartments and, more truly homes

This is a beautiful work. Character driven but still with plot. I'm not sure that through ending satisfied me...not so much in its failure to provide answers as in those it chooses.  But the sheer beauty in the (to an outside eye)  mundane lives is magic.

4 stars.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

The house, central to the title and to the tale. Not long after moving to their father's dream...the big house, elaborate of the sort that makes it hard to sit in sitting rooms...their mother leaves. And it is merely time until Maeve and then Danny are dismissed by their new stepmother. We see them throughout their lives as scenes of adolescence and adulthood build on scenes of youth.

It's the type of tale were it would be easy to say too much. It traces how childhood, family, and place build adult lives. It looks at trapped pain and the (in)ability to learn certain skills. How one set of dreams can suffocate another. And who we cling to

It's often sad, despite triumphs, but Patchett never leads you astray...and w her prose, I wouldn't mind anyway.

Another 4 stars...above average (and my avg is skewed bc I'm picky. But I cant quite muster 5. I'll say 4.5 while I'm in control.  And thank the publisher for the advance copy.