I’ve been a little off Ann Patchett for a few years. I’m afraid to re-read Bel Canto, which I read several times years ago and LOVED and gave as gifts to many many people. What if I have changed enough that I don’t love it anymore? Anyway, I picked up The Dutch House. First, it’s good. When I couldn’t read it, I wanted to read it. Second, turns out that in order for me to LOVE a book, I need it to have a plot. It’s not that nothing happens – it’s a family saga, plenty happens – but it’s a family saga, so there’s no mystery to solve, no murder to avenge, no THING to DO. And I have learned that I prefer books that have a THING the characters need to DO.