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The Dutch House

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  30,127 ratings  ·  4,518 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 ...more
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Harper
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rachy There was an interview with Patchett where she said she felt inspired by Zadie Smith who described how 'Swing Time' was autobiographical in that it…moreThere was an interview with Patchett where she said she felt inspired by Zadie Smith who described how 'Swing Time' was autobiographical in that it was about the type of mother she didn't want to be. Patchett said this inspired her to also write a story about the type of step mother she didn't want to be.(less)
Christine It’s right up there. Bel Canto is incomparable but I loved this as well. If you treat yourself to the audible version it is read beautifully by Tom…moreIt’s right up there. Bel Canto is incomparable but I loved this as well. If you treat yourself to the audible version it is read beautifully by Tom Hanks. The story and his reading = perfection.

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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  30,127 ratings  ·  4,518 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
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
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 ...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
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
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.
Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
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
2.5 stars:
Danny and Maeve are siblings who can’t overcome their past. Abandoned by their mother at an early age, Maeve, the oldest, assumes the mother role. Everything changes further when their emotionally distant father marries the evil stepmother and the children are cut out of their inheritance. The pain, bitterness, and anger shapes their personalities and their future. How do they move past such a childhood?

My questions: What does forgiveness look like? Does forgiveness mean you allow
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Just punch me right in the heart next time, Patchett. It'd be faster.

See my full review here:
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
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
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
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
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5000-2019
Sometimes when you listen to an audiobook the narrator spoils it and sometimes makes it. This one is read by Tom Hanks and he absolutely makes it perfect. He has the kind of voice you can listen to for hours and it is ideal for Danny, the character whose point of view is followed throughout the book.

The story is about the breakdown of a family and the support its individual members give to each other. Danny and his sister, Maeve, are the most important characters and they have an amazing bond. I
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ann Patchett rarely disappoints and The Dutch House is no exception. This story spans several decades, beginning with siblings Danny and Maeve, in their childhood, growing up in the Dutch House, outside of Philadelphia.

The story is told entirely from Danny’s perspective. He’s very close with Maeve, his older sister, as their mother, Elna, left when the children were young. The family was well-off and their father, Cyril, though not particularly warm, provided for and raised his two children,
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
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story which follows a pair of siblings through five decades, the loss of their parents and childhood home and how those losses affected their lives.
Such a strong bond between the siblings and a past that wouldn’t let them go.. the house itself played such a huge part in this story, like it was one of the characters.
Great characters! Good story!
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
TOM HANKS NARRATES THIS AUDIOBOOK! I repeat, Tom Hanks narrates this audiobook! I could listen to that man narrate a grocery list but lucky for us, this book was much more interesting than that.

Let me first warn you that this is absolutely a character study plot type novel. And by that I mean, don't go into this book expecting this to happen: beginning->story climax where something major happens->ending. Instead, the readers gets to wade through the lives of Danny and his older sister,
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
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
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
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
Diane Barnes
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Didn't even have to think about this one. Five stars because everything in this novel is perfect. From the masterful beginning until the perfect ending, and everything in between; the characters who feel like family, the Dutch house itself, the story which loops around and circles in upon itself, surprises, unexpected opportunities and also the letting go of hatred and revenge when there's no point in them anymore. I'm still not sure how I feel about the Mother, but I'll be dwelling on her for ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Ann Patchett is a master storyteller and she lives up to this reputation with her latest work - The Dutch House. Her writing is superb and the stories she tells invite you in and before you know it, you’ve developed deep relationships with the characters. This is a story about abandonment, love, family, loyalty, loss, and forgiveness. It is also about growing up and letting go of the past.

There are three main characters - Danny, the narrator and younger brother of Maeve, our second character and
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will be surprised if I read a better book this month than this one. Loved it and have renewed interest in reading more Patchett.
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,
Anna Luce
5 stars

“I was still at a point in my life when the house was the hero of every story, our lost and beloved country.”

Not Quite a Review, More of an Ode to Ann Patchett:

Usually I tend to post my reviews a couple of days after I’ve finished reading a book. With The Dutch House it took me nearly two weeks to work up the ‘courage’ to review it. The fact is that I loved The Dutch House so much that I find hard to see it as a ‘mere’ work of fiction.
This is the eighth novel that I’ve read by Ann
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

The lives of siblings Danny and Maeve Conroy are overshadowed by their childhood home, 'The Dutch House', an elegant glass mansion located in Elkins Park - a ritzy suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The house, which looks more like a museum than a residence, was built by the Dutch VanHoebeeks in the 1920s, and purchased - complete with furniture and home décor - by budding real estate mogul Cyril Conroy in 1946. Cyril is delighted to surprise his young family with the house, not
Jessica Woodbury
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-2019-arcs, arc
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
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: usa, 2019-read
This family saga is compulsively readable and highly accessible, but not without depth: While the story is narrated from the point of view of Danny Conroy, the main protagonist is his sister Maeve who, after their father dies and their stepmother throws them out of the house, raises and takes care of her little brother. The title-giving Dutch House is the Conroy's former family home and becomes an obsession for the siblings who associate it with their lost childhood, a manifestation of their ...more
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
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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
“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.”
“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.” 6 likes
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