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The Dutch House

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  5,228 ratings  ·  1,042 reviews
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 e ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Harper
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Carolyn I read each of the others and liked them well, but I think this is her best work. It is really the perfect book.
Maine I think, from the point of view of fairy tale, which Patchett has said she wanted to write, the wicked stepmother never gets much of a voice. And I…moreI think, from the point of view of fairy tale, which Patchett has said she wanted to write, the wicked stepmother never gets much of a voice. And I think some people are just selfish. Also, think about what sort of person would have married Cyril? (less)

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Average rating 4.34  · 
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 ·  5,228 ratings  ·  1,042 reviews


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Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So close to be a masterpiece, a dysfunctional family story starts in this humongous, grandiose mansion, where ex inhabitants had died and left their belongings including their portraits hanging on the walls and it ends there as we move back and forth between the timelines to read the story narrated by Danny, second child of the family. But please go and order an audiobook because TOM HANKS is fantastic, impeccable, meticulous narrator. (Yes, he is our Danny boy).
So as a result paperback version
...more
Angela M
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Sometimes in a novel, a place is such a strong and integral part of the story that it deserves as much attention as if it were a character. The house in this novel exerts so much influence over the lives of the characters, sometimes more so than the other people in their lives. The house, with its big windows and ornate design is a symbol of success for Cyril Conroy, the self made real estate developer. To his wife Elna, it is everything that is wrong with the world, when so many others
...more
Diane S ☔
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor-2019
Patchett is way up there on my, can't wait for next novel, list. Her characterizations, her insight into flawed families and her wry observations of human nature, are always top notched. In this, her soon to be published novel, she follows a family for five decades, a family that is broken apart, for reasons that I cannot at this time share. Brother and sister, Maeve and Danny, are extremely close, not unexpected since they are the only ones that are there for each other through thick and thin. ...more
Peter
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
Attached
The Dutch House is a story of siblings, Danny and Maeve Conroy, their obsessive connection with the iconic family house they lived in as young children and how their lives unfolded over the years. The story is narrated by Danny over multiple non-linear time periods. The various time jumps and reflections back to important events felt like a jigsaw puzzle being built, where there is the uncertainty of the next piece but once it is placed, the complete picture becomes clearer and clearer.
...more
Paromjit
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ann Patchett's latest novel proves to be a absolute delight to read with its echoes of the darkest of fairytales with the requisite wicked stepmother in the form of Andrea. We are provided with Patchett's acute understanding and keen observational insights of what it is to be human, the complex nature of family and the dysfunctional dynamics that proliferate. Shortly after WW2, Cyril Conroy's life catapults from poverty into wealth which propels him to buy the architectural jewel that is the Dut ...more
Elyse Walters
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
E-book - ( own)... and Audiobook.... ( own), narrated by Tom Hanks.

Having read and loved other books by Patchett, [“Commwealth”, “Bel Canto”, “State of Wonder”, “This Is The Story of A Happy Marriage”, and “Run”], plus all the raving early reviews - I was looking forward to reading this.
And now I’ve joined the choir with other readers and friends singing....
“This is a wonderful novel”.

I pre-ordered the ebook months ago - soon to learn that my High School boyfriend- [haha]- Tommy Hanks - was r
...more
Michelle
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a freaking masterpiece this is!!

Let's begin with prior to reading this book, I was impartial on books by Ann Patchett. I previously had only read Commonwealth and liked it, but it wasn't something I would climb to the top of a mountain and yell about. This book is.

I'm not going to get into the summary because I went in as blind as I could (I requested an ARC on NG and EW purely on the fact that it was Ann Patchett and I LOVED the cover) and I think that benefited me. I had no expectations w
...more
Larry H
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
"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."

Siblings Danny and Maeve Conroy grew up in The Dutch House, a lavish home in the Philadelphia suburbs. Once the home of a Dutch family that owned most of the area, their artwork and interior decorating still remain throughout the infamous estate. While their real-estate
...more
Esil
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: d-a-buddy-reads, ew
Awfully close to 5 stars!

The Dutch House is full of the stuff I love in fiction. It’s really well written, has great characters, is original and feels like a big meaty story I could get lost in. Danny is the narrator. He grew up in the grandiose Dutch House with his sister, Maeve, and his father. What happens to his mother is a mystery that unravels over time. But the fallout from her disappearance is a very strong bond between Danny and Maeve, and a cascade of emotional and other consequences f
...more
Debbie
A grand house with grand siblings inside

A house? Really? I want people, not inanimate objects! I thought the house would be bigger than the people in it, but thank god I was wrong. I ended up loving the place. Hell, I’d go to an open house there any day. Damn straight I’d like to snoop around.

The cover and the title scared me. A painting of an uptight, upright woman on the cover, and “Dutch House” as the title—sounds like we might have some snooty going on here. Is reading this going to feel lik
...more
Umut Reviews
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-2019
This was a great book with Ann Patchett's signature writing. She's the queen of family sagas and this is no different.



'The Dutch House' refers to a mansion Meave and Danny live with their parents. We go through the lives of these siblings from their childhood to quite late in their lives. Their mother leaves suddenly without a word one day when they were children, and they never knew why. We go through the next phase of their lives after this event till they are old basically.
If you haven't re
...more
Tammy
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
For no reason, I’ve never read Patchett and I’ve been missing out. This is an intelligent novel that is almost a fable including an evil stepmonster but it’s the house that looms large. A house that represents success, greed, loss, sadness and, ultimately, forgiveness. A wife is desperately unhappy, close siblings are eventually ousted and many lives are deeply affected by the house and what it means to each character. Patchett has a deft touch and now I’ll have the pleasure of reading her other ...more
Doug
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A HUGE thanx to Netgalley and HarperCollins for a review copy of this book, in exchange for this honest review.

I've only read two other Patchett books, but she has already become a favorite author, and I was very excited to be granted this ARC months prior to its publication in late Sept., since her last novel, Commonwealth, made it into my top 5 reads for 2016 - and I am fairly confident this one will do likewise for 2019.

The storyline follows somewhat similar ground as that previous book, bei
...more
Cheri
4.5 Stars

This is the third book of Patchett’s that I’ve read, the first being State of Wonder, the second, Commonwealth, and this is one adds to the proof that she was born to write these complex family dramas where each character equally shares the wounds of all involved.

A little like a fairy tale flipped upside-down, this story includes an imposing, castle-like house, which seems to affect each character differently, as though abiding inside these walls seems to create an entirely different
...more
PorshaJo
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I a big fan of Ann Patchett. I've read a number of her books, saw her speak a few times, even went to her bookstore while on a work trip through Nashville. Needless to say, there was no doubt I would read this one and like it. I've yet to read anything that she writes and not like it. I still have a few of her books to read (that I have copies of, even signed copies of books) but feel like I don't want to rush. I always want to have one of her books available to read. I know it's odd. But on to ...more
Sue
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Dutch House is the story of a family, and a very distinguished house, and the ways in which that combination played on everyone’s lives and relationships. It is also a story of the ways in which a person’s life can be altered, hemmed in, defined, expanded, most definitely changed, for good or ill, by significant others and even a place. Also
a story of fighting, or not fighting, those influences to live one’s own life.

And a wonderful story it is. Ann Patchett is an excellent writer, able to
...more
Eric Anderson
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are some novels where I instantly feel connected to the narrator as if he were an old friend. Something about the way Ann Patchett presents her central character of Danny Conroy in her new novel “The Dutch House” hooked me to his consciousness. Maybe it's the tone of his wide-eyed innocence and ignorance as he looks back at his childhood, family life and the home he was cast out of. It's a sensibility I can relate to now that I'm in my early 40s and think back to the mysteries of my early ...more
Bianca
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is only the second Ann Patchett novel I read.

The Dutch House is aptly named - the majestic house at its centre was built on the outskirts of Philadelphia by the VanHoebeek's who had immigrated to the US before the WWI.

The business-savvy Cyril Conroy buys the house and everything in it to surprise his wife, Elma and their young children, Maeve and Danny. Overwhelmed by the huge change from living frugally in a very small house to living in a grand old house, with a cook, a cleaner and a nan
...more
Jessica Woodbury
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, best-2019-arcs
I cannot explain why Ann Patchett is so good because while I read her books, I am so engrossed and involved that I do not have the capability to figure it out. That would mean letting go of the story, slowing down or stopping, not letting myself get pulled along deeper and deeper. Her prose and her plots are often (though not always) simple. I cannot tell why I am absolutely mesmerized, I just am. It is simply something to be accepted, and something to be treasured.

THE DUTCH HOUSE left me with a
...more
Betsy Robinson
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a luscious reading experience—a quietly riveting plot, masterful transitions and character development, people so real I could feel their breath and body heat, and an ending that filled and broke my heart.

I love this book, but it's not an ordinary reader's love. It's familial. The best way I can express it is to say that if The Dutch House and my first novel (Plan Z by Leslie Kove) and my mother's first novel (The Trouble with the Truth) were sisters, The Dutch House would be our middle sib
...more
Emma
Danny Conroy and his sister, Maeve, grow up in the architectural masterpiece that is the Dutch House, a 1920s mansion in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. It’s a building with huge, wide windows, giving every passerby the opportunity to look inside. A function reflected by Danny’s narration. He offers a way in, clear-eyed but still intensely personal. It’s a story about everything and nothing, detailing how family dynamics are affected by the Dutch House and each other. It’s a dream for book clubs, ful ...more
Lisa
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Dutch House showcases lyrical writing and first rate character development

SUMMARY
In 1946, Brooklyn-born real-estate entrepreneur Cyril Conroy purchases the Dutch House in Elkins Park, outside Philadelphia, and presents it to his Wife, Elna. The 1920’s mansion comes complete with staff, life-size portraits of the original Dutch owners, a third floor ballroom, and a perfect window seat. Elna, who grew up poor, hates the extravagance of the house. She runs away to serve the poor, abandoning he
...more
Kelly
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
I have to admit that I am predisposed to love everything Ann Patchett writes. That is my default setting. But the Dutch House checks all the boxes for what I consider a great book. Characters that you want to hug, slap, or invite over for dinner. Or all of the above. A story about a family and a house that demonstrates how that house can be so much more than a structure. It can represent the bones of the family, a symbol connected to love or loss or achievement or abandonment. And a bringing tog ...more
Mary Lins
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: complete
I read Ann Patchett’s “Patron Saint of Liars”, when it came out almost 30 years ago and loved it so much that I wrote Ms. Patchett a letter praising it, and she wrote me a lovely note back. I became a fan for life, reading every one of her marvelous (and unique!) novels. So yes, I was primed to love “The Dutch House”, and I did! Not just because it’s my habit to rave about Patchett’s novels, but because it’s GREAT; it’s my new favorite!

“The Dutch House”, (itself as much a character as any of the
...more
Bruce Katz
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-fiction
First, a confession (of sorts). I was ill when I was reading much of this book. Not a serious illness, happily, but one of those viral things that cloud vision and mind alike. Hence, I'm not clear on which reactions come from the book and which from my befuddled state. That said: I liked the book a lot. The story was addictive and the characters engaging. It's probably the most accessible of the author's books I've read, but beneath its pellucid surface lay matters of great depth. I'll leave plo ...more
☙ percy ❧
"Our father was a man who had never met his own wife."

I think this is a classic case of it's-not-you-it's-me.

I found the writing adept but prosaic; fine for a plot-driven novel but this was more character-driven, and in these sorts of novels I prefer more "literary" fiction (even though I tend to avoid that term because of various reasons) with devices such as stream-of-consciousness, poetic prose, etc, especially if written in the first person, which this is. The writing wasn't bad by any mea
...more
Diana
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Damn you, Ann Patchett. Your books, the last three in particular, have gotten me so deeply involved with your characters that I have felt bereft when they’re over. “Wait- I’m not done with you!,” I wail. And then I mourn a little and am unable to really get into other books for the next couple of days. You know this feeling? I call it a book hangover.

Nobody writes about the interior lives of families like Patchett. The inside jokes, the resentments that go on for years, the little rivalries and
...more
Emma
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. A wonderful study of a family over three generations and their relationship with the Dutch House. This is a poignantly observed essay on how nostalgia and the ghosts of our past affect our present and inform our future. I am most grateful to have received an arc of this from Netgalley. Thanks for the opportunity to read this marvellous book.
Andrea
4.5★, rounded up.

I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of this book from Bloomsbury, as Ann Patchett is one of my favourite authors. While reading it, I couldn't help but compare it with her previous novel, Commonwealth, which I liked but didn't love. This one, I loved. Both are strongly character-driven stories about family, but somehow The Dutch House also has more plot and was therefore more satisfying as I turned the final page.

Told in the first person, from the point of view of Daniel C
...more
Rebecca
Maeve and Danny Conroy are an inseparable brother-and-sister pair. Their mother left when Danny was little, so his older sister played a maternal role, too. And when their father dies, they become like Hansel and Gretel (or Cinderella and her little brother): cast out into the wilds by an evil stepmother who takes possession of the only home they’ve ever known, a suburban Philadelphia mansion built on the proceeds of the VanHoebeeks’ cigarette empire.

It’s interesting to see Patchett take on a ma
...more
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Patchett was born in Los Angeles, California. Her mother is the novelist Jeanne Ray.

She moved to Nashville, Tennessee when she was six, where she continues to live. Patchett said she loves her home in Nashville with her doctor husband and dog. If asked if she could go any place, that place would always be home. "Home is ...the stable window that opens out into the imagination."

Patchett attended hi
...more
“I see the past as it actually was," Maeve said. She was looking at the trees.

"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.”
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“The dinner was a huge production, with kids stashed in the den to eat off card tables like a collection of understudies who dreamed of one day breaking into the dining room.” 2 likes
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