The Dutch House - Ann Patchett

The Dutch House

By Ann Patchett

  • Release Date: 2019-09-24
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
4.5
From 344 Ratings

Description

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.

Reviews

  • Very Good

    4
    By Cut wood
    I enjoyed the story and the characters. Pleasant to be let into the characters lives.
  • Great story

    5
    By bedsidereading
    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
    By Band width
    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.