Hey everyone, welcome back the Waterstones vlog, it’s Will here and this week I’m talking to you about a book I have enjoyed more than almost any other this year and that book is The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. Now, before we start talking about what’s on inside the book We are going to have to take a little moment to talk about how beautiful the outside of the book is. First of all, we’re used to sprayed edges on books… but Delft-style d=sprayed edges are taking it to a whole new level Absolutely incredible design. There’s this lovely painting on the front of the book and in fact there’s a story behind this painting. Ann came over from the States to record an episode of the forthcoming season two of The Waterstones Podcast (more on that later). And she told us all about how this painting was created. It’s actually a video which you can watch here on YouTube or indeed on facebook and Twitter as well. It’s a really, really fascinating story. Ann Patchett is an absolute hoot to talk to. So the podcast episode she’s going to be in, I promise you it’s going to be a good one. We’ll come back to podcast later, let’s talk about The Dutch House. This is the Waterstones exclusive edition of this book. As I say it has this absolutely gorgeous design but there’s also an extra essay in the book, written by Ann, all about book covers and their design and why they’re important So that is exclusively available in our edition. And there are signed copies too and all that kind of stuff. There will be links below for you to follow. The Dutch House itself is an incredible book because it’s one of the family stories where you feel completley connected to the characters and as if they are realer then real. And she manages to do that whilst also creating a story, a narrative, which is almost fairytale like. And what mean by that is that we follow particularly two siblings, Maeve and Danny. Sister and brother. And they live in the Dutch House of the title which is this gorgeous, opulent house bought by their father who is a property developer and they go literally from living in a tiny apartment to this gigantic house with staff and all the rest of it. It’s a huge upheaval for the family and in fact it ends up kind of shattering the family apart. And I don’t want to give away too much of what happens the story because that would not ruin it but I want you to read it and enjoy it yourself But suffice to say that Maeve and Danny throughout the rest of their lives keep coming back to the Dutch House, even when they’re old and grown and no longer living in the house. because of the things that have happened there. And because of something that they can’t let go. This is very much about how the past continues to haunt us and how we have to deal with things that have happened in our families before we can really, truly move on. It has an almost epic sweep but it manages to do that without it feeling like one of those ‘Great American Novels’. It’s an absolute joy to read. Ann Patchett has that ability to find exactly the right phrase. Exactly the right way to describe something or someone or a way of feeling and being which I just absolutely loved. It’s filled with humanity and just a joy from start to finish. I don’t really want to give away too much about the narrative. But that hopefully gives you a bit of an idea about what is contained within this book. The kind of characters that you feel you could reach out and shake hands with and a narrative that keeps you gripped from first page to last. because there is something about the momentum that is achieved through the telling of the story. She is just a master and it’s just great to have another book of hers to read. As I say, she is brilliant to talk to. She’s a bookshop owner herself and so in season two of The Waterstones Podcast she will be in an episode called Community. And I can tell you if you haven’t already heard. So the final episode of season one has just been release. It’s called Family and in that I also give you details about what’s coming up in season two There will be studio guests in every episode And we’re talking about things like Haunting, Community, Culture, Meetings, Outside… All sorts of fantastic things. really, really amazing authors coming up. I don’t want to give away any names just yet but suffice to say I’m very happy with what’s happening. SoI hope you’ll enjoy that. Again, I’ll provide links for that if you haven’t heard it already. And indeed episodes of the Waterstones Podcast are made available on YouTube as well. So there we go, that’s The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. An absolutely wonderful book and do pop into your local Waterstones and have a look at our exclusive edition because I think once you’ve got it in your hands you will find it very hard to put it down again. That is all from me this week. I will see you in about a month or so but until then, take care.