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The Dutch House

A Novel

By Ann Patchett
Narrated by Tom Hanks / 9 hours 52 minutes

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.

Bookseller Recommendation

The Dutch House

“The Dutch House is an engrossing story that spans over 50 years. It is about a house and the memories that it holds. The story revolves around Danny and Maeve, a brother and sister who love each other deeply - more than any other person including Danny's wife. They share a sad childhood in which their Mother disappears with very little explanation. They are brought up by their distant father who loves their home, The Dutch House, more than his children or his second wife. When he dies suddenly in his 50's, the second wife takes everything and throws Danny and Maeve out of the house. The siblings manage and continue to be each other's lifeline. I enjoyed this book tremendously and developed great affection for the siblings, even with their complex, dysfunctional dynamics. An added bonus: Tom Hanks reads the story with plenty of heart and soul.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys

“'Do you think it’s possible to ever see the past as it actually was?’ I asked my sister. We were sitting in her car, parked in front of the Dutch House in the broad daylight of early summer.”

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.

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. Filled with suspense, you may read it quickly to find out what happens, but what happens to Danny and Maeve will stay with you for a very long time.


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About the Author

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels and three books of nonfiction. She has won many prizes, including Britain’s Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is the co-owner of Parnassus Books.


Reviews

“Expect miracles when you read Ann Patchett’s fiction”

New York Times Book Review

“Patchett is at her subtle yet shining finest in this gloriously incisive, often droll, quietly suspenseful drama of family, ambition, and home.”

Booklist

“Patchett’s splendid novel is a thoughtful, compassionate exploration of obsession and forgiveness, what people acquire, keep, lose or give away, and what they leave behind.”

Publishers Weekly

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