The Dutch House

The Dutch House

A Novel

Book - 2019
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"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."--Publisher's description.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062963673
Characteristics: 337 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

In Patchett's luminous novel, an orphaned brother and sister grapple with love, loss and family history after their wicked stepmother banished them from the family home. -NYT

mko123 Oct 22, 2019

This is the story of a house, at once both magnificent in its splendor and grotesque in its conspicuous wealth. It all depends on what the blended family members experience within its walls. The portrait on the cover is part of the family drama and mystery that is slowly revealed as you experie... Read More »

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DBRL_ReginaF Mar 30, 2020

This was such a fantastic story and it's available as an ebook and audio download. And, honestly, who doesn't want to be read to by Tom Hanks right now?

Mar 24, 2020

I found this an extremely boring book. I have heard wonderful things about the author but could hardly make it through this book. I just read it a few weeks ago and upon seeing the title yesterday, had to look it up to remember the characters and plot. Extremely forgettable in my opinion. It is the first Ann Patchett book I’ve read and I don’t know if there will be a second one. Totally unimpressed!

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Mar 10, 2020

A solid character-driven family narrative. Plus Tom Hanks reads the audio...points for that!

Mar 07, 2020

This book is supposedly a tale of a house as told by Danny Conroy, one of the children who grew up there, and is a novel. I would say that Danny's voice rings through with such sincerity that the book reads like a memoir. Danny and Maive grow up in "The Dutch House" with their father, as their mother has mysteriously left. It is a magnificent house in Philadelphia. The book covers a period of five decades and tells of the reversal of fortunes of the Conroy children when their father marries Andrea. Maive wants Danny to be a doctor. Will he become a doctor or follow in his father's footsteps and build a real estate empire? Will they become rich enough to buy back the Dutch House? These and other questions are answered in the book. It is a testament to the author's story telling ability that I wanted to start reading the book again as soon as I had finished it!

Mar 03, 2020

I loved these kids! Ann Patchett developed these characters in way that I felt I knew them. I wanted to console and nurture them just as Sandy and Jocelyn did. Towards the end of the book I cried for poor Maeve and rejoiced for her niece May. This was a beautiful story of forgiveness and redemption and coming to terms with the past.

I loved this book. It grabbed me from the start. My book club did it and there was a lot to discuss. Ann Patchett is one of my favorite authors. My favorite by her was "Bel Canto", but this one may rival it. The characters were interesting and very well described by Patchett so the reader could get a good picture and feel for them. Mauve and Danny were fun characters to imagine. I almost wish I listened to this on audio, as it is read by Tom Hanks. However, this was one that you just enjoy reading and look forward to getting back to.

Feb 10, 2020

The Dutch House plays a big part in this novel. It is almost a character, not a location. The story carries you through decades with the house as the central obsession for the son and daughter who grow up there but lose it due to family changes and dysfunction. Maeve, the older sister is a great character; she becomes a mother substitute to her much younger brother. When you discover how and why the portrait on the cover is Maeve, you'll be wrapped up in this good story. Their stepmother might remind readers of a fairy tale: Cinderella with a brother, or Hansel and Gretel. This is a slow saga of a dysfunctional family, but with a unique plot, some good twists, and good dialogue, it's a page-turner in a quieter way.

Feb 03, 2020

I enjoyed this book very much, and for me it was a page turner of a different kind. I wanted to hear the narrator's voice and keep up with his life. The only negative comment I would make is that it seemed to hurry toward the ending, resolving the various characters lives too quickly. I am an Ann Patchett fan, with Bel Canto being a favorite. I do recommend this book (and Bel Canto) heartily.

Feb 02, 2020

I am a Patchett fan, but this one didn’t meet expectations. Well written and carefully constructed, it left me wanting. I did not care for the narrator, the main character and I think that was the root of my disappointment.

STPL_Kerry Jan 31, 2020

I enjoyed this book. It was a beautifully written, character-driven novel about family, heartache and anger (and what a cancer it can be). It is a story about how we live with hurt and disappointment, how we hold on, and how we let go. If you are looking for a gripping page-turner then keep on going.....that being said, this was a very pleasant read.

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Feb 27, 2020

"...the things we could do nothing about were best put out of our minds." p.70

Jan 21, 2020

“Habit is a funny thing. You might think you understand it, but you can never exactly see what it looks like when you’re doing it.” - p.255

Jan 21, 2020

"Disappointment comes from expectation, and in those days I had no expectation that Andrea would get anything less than what she wanted.” - pp. 58-59

Jan 21, 2020

“Do you think it’s possible to ever see the past as it actually was?” I asked my sister…

“I see the past as it actually was, “ Maeve said….

“But we overlay the present onto the past. We look back through the lens of what we know now, so we’re not seeing it as the people we were, we’re seeing it as the people we are, and that means the past has been radically altered.” - p. 45

ArapahoeAnnaL Nov 03, 2019

'Home is so sad...It stays as it was left, shaped to the comfort of the last to go as if to win them back. Instead, bereft of anyone to please, it withers so, having no heart to put aside the theft. And turn again to what it started as, a joyous shot at how things ought to be, long fallen wide. You can see how it was: look at the pictures and the cutlery. The music in the piano stool. That vase.' Larkin

ArapahoeAnnaL Nov 03, 2019

'You think he was sleeping with Fluffy?' I asked her... The news of this affair came to me as most information did: many years after the fact, in a car parked outside the Dutch house with my sister.


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