The Dutch House
A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!
From the New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder , comes Ann Patchett’s 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...more
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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
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
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 ...more
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 ...more
I live in a flat in a tenement house which was built over 90 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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, ...more
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 ...more
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, ...more
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!
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
'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 ...more
There are three main characters - Danny, the narrator and younger brother of Maeve, our second character and ...more
“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 Amateurish 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 ...more
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 ...more
For those who’ve read Ann Patchett before, The Dutch House probably needs no introduction. It’s Ann Patchett. It’s a family saga. That’s all you need.
For those (like me) who haven’t, it’s a little harder to explain the book’s appeal. It spans decades, following a brother and sister, Danny & Maeve Conroy. They live in a fancy house, ...more
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 ...more
"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.”