Books similar to The Dutch House
Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates
Revolutionary Road, which was made into a film in with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, is set immediately after World War 2 in Connecticut and shares many themes with The Dutch House.
2. Rebecca, by Daphne DuMaurier
Like The Dutch House, Rebecca is a modern novel with elements of the Gothic (see below).
2. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Little Fires Everywhere is set in Shaker Heights, Pennsylvania and also deals with upper middle class family life.
3. Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson.
The title of this classic young adult novel set on an island in the Chesapeake Bay comes from the Bible story of Jacob and Esau. The rest of the quote goes, “…and Esau I have hated” (Romans 9:13). The speaker is God.
Paterson’s novel is the story of a pair of twin sisters, one of whom can’t seem to escape the shadow of the other.
4. A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley
A Thousand Acres is a retelling of another classic about siblings, King Lear. And we know that Shakespeare always stole his plots! 🙂
5. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
I originally read this book while I was in Shanghai, and this book felt completely real to me. I devoured Shanghai Girls and its sequel, Dreams of Joy.
Books to help you understand The Dutch House
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
When Danny and Maeve meet their soon-to-be stepsisters, Maeve asks them if they want to read The Turn of the Screw, which is currently on her bedside table. This book is significant because it is the story of a brother and sister pair and their governess, who believes the children are being haunted.
2. The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction by Nick Groom
The Oxford UP’s “Very Short Introductions” give you just enough information about almost any topic you can think of, in a book that can be read in one or two sittings.
The Dutch House has elements of the Gothic, a literary style that was popular in the early 19th century.
3. Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction by Christopher Butler
Postmodernism resulted from disillusionment brought on by the evils many people experienced during the world wars, which is when Ng sets this novel.
When reading The Dutch House, it’s helpful to understand something about Postmodernism and the Gothic to understand why the book is written the way it is and why the characters react the way they do. Patchett sets up the reader for a Gothic tale before switching gears.
4. Once Upon a Time by Marina Warner
Marina Warner is a well-known fairy tale scholar who can help you understand more about the meaning of fairy tales with this very short book.
Stories that have come to us through the oral tradition are interesting to study because they were used by people for centuries to help them make sense of the world, and they can show us how similar we all are, regardless of our time or place. There are so many issues that are timeless that haven’t been recorded any other way.
For everything you need to know about The Dutch House for your book club (or your own interest), click here!