With typical childhood curiosity, they track down the fortune-teller, and enter the woman’s apartment one-by-one. She gives them a precise date for their deaths, an experience the children find terrifying, the date never to be revealed to their friends. It also becomes a seminal moment that ends up shaping their entire lives.
The Dutch House is a stunning novel written with Ann Patchett’s tightly woven prose. The book flirts with themes of fairy tales, wicked stepmothers, and orphaned children cheated of their inheritance, but at its heart, it is a book about a house and its enduring effect on everyone who ever lived in it.