The Dutch House
By Ann Patchett
Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
New York Times Bestseller | A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick | A New York Times Book Review Notable Book | TIME Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of 2019
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, The Washington Post; O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Vogue, Refinery29, and Buzzfeed
Ann Patchett, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth, delivers her most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go. The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves and of who we really are.
At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.
The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.
Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.
Engaging Story5By SlightlymollywhipperIf you like stories set in places that seem real and you love old houses, this is the book for you! Loved the characters, loved the house, loved the way Ann Patchett made the characters real and made me want to keep on reading.
Wonderful book5By BeauxdyThis was such a great book. I did not want it to end. Looking forward to her next novel.
Very good and unique story4By AWhite21Unexpectedly good story. Kept me reading and entertained
Nothing happens2By 3pennyThis book is well written (hence the two star rating instead of one) but incredibly slow. What little plot there is could have been described in about 50 pages. The basic premise seems to be that this magnificent old house causes all kinds of problems. That seems like kind of a stretch in the first place. None of the characters are particularly sympathetic either, so I wondered why I kept reading this book. I guess because I paid for it so I kept going. But I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.
Lovely Book5By glehman41Listened to audio version of book read by Tom Hanks. Excellent book
The Dutch House4By Artist drakeWell written and not predictable story of a brother and sisters relationship throughout a tumultuous childhood and adolescence. I found that the book moving a bit slowly through the middle section with a strong ending.
What a House/ Home can mean4By columbia 66Interesting characters, well-written, worth the time. Would be an excellent selection for a book club!
Fabulous5By Meghan042One of my favorite books!!! Loved it from start to finish!! I didn't want it to end!
Excellent novel of a mansion occupied over time by several families.5By WestportbaysideFascinating characters, well written.
Great Character Development5By Hoogle Da BoogleA wonderful read. I felt empathy for the main characters and thoroughly enjoyed the relationship of the siblings as it progressed over the years. The author does a great job of making you feel like you are in the places and eras she describes without going totally overboard.