The Dutch House

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett Book Summary

New York Times Bestseller | A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick | A New York Times Book Review Notable Book | TIME Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of 2019

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, The Washington Post; O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Vogue, Refinery29, and Buzzfeed

Ann Patchett, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth, delivers 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. The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves and of who we really are.

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.

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The Dutch House (Ann Patchett) Book Reviews

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- Wonderful book5 star

This was such a great book. I did not want it to end. Looking forward to her next novel.

- Very good and unique story4 star

Unexpectedly good story. Kept me reading and entertained

- Nothing happens2 star

This book is well written (hence the two star rating instead of one) but incredibly slow. What little plot there is could have been described in about 50 pages. The basic premise seems to be that this magnificent old house causes all kinds of problems. That seems like kind of a stretch in the first place. None of the characters are particularly sympathetic either, so I wondered why I kept reading this book. I guess because I paid for it so I kept going. But I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

- Lovely Book5 star

Listened to audio version of book read by Tom Hanks. Excellent book

- The Dutch House4 star

Well written and not predictable story of a brother and sisters relationship throughout a tumultuous childhood and adolescence. I found that the book moving a bit slowly through the middle section with a strong ending.

- What a House/ Home can mean4 star

Interesting characters, well-written, worth the time. Would be an excellent selection for a book club!

- Fabulous5 star

One of my favorite books!!! Loved it from start to finish!! I didn't want it to end!

- Excellent novel of a mansion occupied over time by several families.5 star

Fascinating characters, well written.

- Great Character Development5 star

A wonderful read. I felt empathy for the main characters and thoroughly enjoyed the relationship of the siblings as it progressed over the years. The author does a great job of making you feel like you are in the places and eras she describes without going totally overboard.

- The Dutch House4 star

The first two thirds are great. The last third okay. I did not like the mother. The mother was “saint” even though she left her two little children. She wasn’t beaten and her husband loved her. I found her actions to be selfish. As a mother, I could not imagine totally abandoning my child, for years, and for her reason. It made me wonder if the author is a mother.

- The Dutch House5 star

Excellent! I couldn’t put it down. When I read this author I feel so connected to the characters. She explores real life issues

- The Dutch House3 star

Started out interesting with family and loyalty. The story takes an interesting turn and becomes repetitive, and ends flat.

- wonderful story5 star

The author tells the story with such precision and flair. Couldn’t put it down

- The Dutch House5 star

What a great book! Loved it!

- The house is a character2 star

Sorry, I found this book really boring. I got through it, but admit I had to skim through a good bit of the repetition. Nothing exciting really happens at any time in this plot line.

- Mediocre2 star

This book was mediocre and predictable. Nothing happens that makes sense . Shallow characters and situations that are ridiculous and improbable. Had great reviews but I was disappointed.

- Very Good4 star

I enjoyed the story and the characters. Pleasant to be let into the characters lives.

- Great story5 star

The best book I’ve read this year. The wry wit has you laughing out loud even in the darker scenes. A a wonderful tale about family loyalty and betrayal, and a house that enthralls them each in far different ways. I hated for it to end.

- This is no Bel Canto!2 star

I had a hard time liking this book. I just didn’t find the house as a character all that interesting. The house dominated everyone’s life so much that the story was pretty boring. I skimmed many sections just to see some progress in the story’s development. In the end, I really didn’t care about any of them.

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"I’ll finish a novel and take time off. I’ll write some non-fiction and then go back to fiction. I never feel rushe…

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the dutch house by ann patchett - 3/5🌟

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Currently reading: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett of @ParnassusBooks1

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@KimmyMonte Loved the Alice Network! And of course The Dutch House on Audible cuz....ya know....Tom Hanks!

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@BahamaPapa_: The Bahamas, not Bahamas: Nassau - Was Charles Town (after King Charles), but renamed Nassau after it was destroyed & reb…

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@danijshapiro @marknepo So honored to have written a blurb for his most recent book. Am reading Anne Patchett’s “The Dutch House”

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@dubcivictrust: This magnificent 11-panel door on South Anne Street is likely the oldest surviving in the area, adorning an altered Dutc…

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4 of 5 stars to The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

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5 of 5 stars to The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

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@Alex_Fedderly Fave book - The Dutch House tied with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn tied with . . . Or You Can Let Him Go…

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Four years ago, Major Bangz ft Wande Coal & Don Jazzy - The Kick (AfroDutch House EDM Remix)

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4 of 5 stars to The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

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@BahamaPapa_: The Bahamas, not Bahamas: Nassau - Was Charles Town (after King Charles), but renamed Nassau after it was destroyed & reb…

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@eaterovworlds I can totally see it from both sides, but you know there’s going to be a bunch of Dutch moms loading…

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@BahamaPapa_: The Bahamas, not Bahamas: Nassau - Was Charles Town (after King Charles), but renamed Nassau after it was destroyed & reb…

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