The Dutch House

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett Book Summary

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 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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- 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 need to start thinking about always having 30 days of essentials in the house. This Coronavirus can bring a cit…

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The Dutch House by Ann Patchett via @goodreads

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Animation of #Sjoelen (#shuffleboard) a dutch game we used to play at my Opa’s house in Holland. My brother recentl…

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@FraserNelson We should be dropping the CT and charging a local tax of 0.5% of the value of your house - like the Dutch do.

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Nice! The trainig day in Rotterdam is also published at Ffald-y-Brenin's website.

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@Call_Me_Dutch constituent here. McConnell has refused to entertain any House bills, so I ask: Where is the house?…

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"Rising income-to-value ratios make house ownership less accessible, especially for young newcomers to the housing…

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@hacks4pancakes You said US, but you also said the Caribbean was in play, so I say Aruba. Not too far away, everyt…

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Today we have no time to look back to history,East Indians agrees Schythians (Kshatriyans )are the real royal famil…

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@Food4catsR: A dutch house colaboration with the epic @ShuBuilds (repost)

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53% done with The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett

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@Food4catsR: A dutch house colaboration with the epic @ShuBuilds (repost)

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Someone bring vall and I dutch we can’t leave the house

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Marked as to-read: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

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@djcreepsrealdj: Today I was at the Dj School of @TonyJuniorLive “House of Fame” recording a set of mine. Video will be on YouTube soon.…

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