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The Dutch House

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  258,704 ratings  ·  26,067 reviews
Ann Patchett, the New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder, returns with 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.

“'Do you think it’s possible to ever see the past as it actually was?’ I asked my sister. We wer
Paperback, 480 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by HarperLuxe
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Margie Adler I read the interview in which Patchett said that she became intrigued with the idea of writing a story around "the evil stepmother. I think that Patch…moreI read the interview in which Patchett said that she became intrigued with the idea of writing a story around "the evil stepmother. I think that Patchett started with that question: what if you lost your mother and in her place came the evil stepmother? She jumped off from there, and I kind of like that we weren't given Andrea's background. In this case, the reader gets to know Andrea just as Maeve and Danny do. We hold their points of view, feel what they feel. I think that we feel more closely connected. That's an important reason why this novel is so powerful. (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 Ha…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 4.11  · 
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 ·  258,704 ratings  ·  26,067 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an absorbing read even though the narrator was infuriating, self-absorbed, oblivious, selfish, and annoying. It follows two siblings, Danny and Maeve, and their childhood home, The Dutch House, across decades with a mother who disappeared, an emotionally distant father, his new wife and her daughters and, eventually, Danny’s wife and children. There is an epic feel to this novel but it is also an intimate portrait of siblings who have found home in each other when they are failed by the ...more
Angela M
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Reading Road Trip 2020

Current location: Pennsylvania

“Swear to God, you really were that boring.”

The night my book club discussed Ann Patchett's Bel Canto some ten years ago, I clutched my copy of that novel to my chest like a companion animal and huffed and puffed away, defensively, every time a woman in the group grumbled “so unbelievable” and “that ending!” Who were they, those wenches, to speak ill of a book I adored about love and opera?

Later, on various telephone calls, my sister (another
Elyse  Walters
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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 tox
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dutch House is a family saga that centers around siblings Danny and Maeve. Their father strikes it rich and buys a lavish mansion known as The Dutch House as a surprise for their mother, and that event reverberates with repercussions for everyone in the family and kicks off a five-decade long story.

This is my first Ann Patchett book, and I've heard amazing things about her and this book, so I tore into it with gusto. And I was hooked from the first page. I found the characters and the writi
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Just punch me right in the heart next time, Patchett. It'd be faster.

See my full review here:
Diane S ☔
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit I was drawn to this novel by its gorgeous cover and narration by Tom Hanks as I have read only one book by Ms Patchett. I am not sure I will follow her, but this novel is absolutely fantastic. What an intriguing idea to tell a story of a family, especially of a strong bond between siblings, and connect it with a story of a house that seems to be in the background but which in fact plays the major role in the characters' lives!
I live in a flat in a tenement house which was built over 90
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
This was a book I had to think about after finishing. I truly wanted to fall into a deep and abiding love for the story and yet I found it so unrealistic that I had to question what if any was the motive behind the story. There seemed to be no overwhelming meaning to the characters. Everyone and everything seemed disjointed and to me a wash of grey characters, not believable and certainly not ones to be emulated.

From the dereliction of being a mother, a father who is in all intents absentee, to
3 stars if im feeling generous, which im not, so 2.5 stars it is


this was so blah. no word encapsulates this book for me more perfectly than "blah." i recognize that this book had some nice, touching moments, but on the whole it felt so heartless. after about the first quarter of this book, this started becoming very apparent. the dutch house reminded me of all the things i disliked about mary beth keane's ask again, yes and jhumpa lahiri's the namesake: the reliance on having a character tell us
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, bestof-2019
5 HUGE STARS! One of my best of 2019 (definitely the best audio book).

I am a huge Ann Patchett fan and this book does not disappoint. It’s a fabulous book, but it was made so much better because of Tom Hank’s narration. The book is described as a dark fairy tale and there is definitely that theme, with an evil stepmother separating two siblings from their father, their house and everything they hold dear.

The book just drew me in and I wanted to spend all my hours listening to it. Told from Dan
Hang on, I swear I’m about to write this review, but first I need to call up every real estate agent in the greater Philadelphia area and inquire about purchasing the Dutch House.

Okay, so yes, the Dutch House is fictional.

Plan B: I will make millions and millions of dollars and then become best friends with Ann Patchett and she and I will team up as co-architects to construct a real life version, and both of us will ignore the fact that we have no architecture experience and that I haven’t taken
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes when you listen to an audiobook the narrator spoils it and sometimes makes it. This one is read by Tom Hanks and he makes it absolutely 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
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
Larry H
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ew, d-a-buddy-reads
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
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, Maeve. It
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
Jennifer Masterson
I preordered this book. For months this gem was just sitting there waiting to be downloaded on my Audible app. Boy was I missing out because this will go in my favorites bookshelf. I absolutely loved it! Phenomenal story with a wonderful message. I just finished and I have chills! The kind of chills I got after reading books like “The Goldfinch” and “A Little Life”.

The audio was so good! I mean Tom Hanks! My God!

I have a feeling these characters will stay with me for a very long time.
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, wh
Susanne  Strong
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
“Home.” What does it mean to you? It is a place or is it a person?

For me, having had a bad childhood and a bad marriage, “Home” has always been a place. Now that I’m divorced, the first home that I created for myself after my divorce was the first place that I ever truly felt safe in my entire life. Now, having moved, I have strived to create that same feeling of “Home” elsewhere. For others, “Home” may be the people you surround yourselves with.

In “The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett, “the house
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
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was hard to come to grips with this book. And here I thought that it would be a slightly arty but conceptualized story. Maybe something that has a past and present chapter.

Instead I found myself involved in a centralized story about a Dutch house. Curiously enough, to me it sounded like a lab rat for our characters to joust.

I liked this book immensely. The vocab of the book was mellow but not dull. The family dynamics was natural, intriguing and didactic. I really need to reread it to get to
Ann Patchett is one of my favorite authors. I haven't read all of her books, but I have read many of them that I love with my whole heart; Bel Canto, Run, Truth and Beauty are my favorites by her.

The Dutch House is a five star read too. I was completely in love with her characters, especially Maeve and her brother Danny, who are essentially made orphans and paupers by the death of their father, the desertion by their mother, and their wicked stepmother who kicks Danny out of her home when he is
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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

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  Every December, as we wrap up our annual Goodreads Reading Challenge, we ask our book-loving colleagues a simple yet incredibly tough...
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“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.”
“There are a few times in life when you leap up and the past that you'd been standing on falls away behind you, and the future you mean to land on is not yet in place, and for a moment you're suspended knowing nothing and no one, not even yourself.” 104 likes
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