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.
“Any novel by Ann Patchett is going to include little sparks of description that catch in the imagination, moments of dialogue so good that you forget later you weren't there, and stories that capture your heart as well as a zeitgeist. In The Dutch House, Patchett creates a narrator standing at the intersection of poverty, dream, privilege, and family, confused by the gap between his sister's memory of hardship and his own experience of wealth - and loss. Tom Hanks narrates this audiobook fully in character, his pacing capturing the main character's moments of realization: the cook had a husband? The strangely designed, luxurious Dutch House had shaped his relationship with his sister far more after they couldn't go back! His mother and his sister shared taste in books? How? His children are curious about things he'd never thought important! ...It's a novel beautifully suited to our cultural moment - a time of economic loss and uncertainty about basically everything except the bonds of love we want to protect - and an audio performance perfect for the novel. Five stars and two thumbs up!”Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
“Meeting the Conroy family and stepping into their elaborate Dutch house—part museum, part home, with all its secrets and charm, comfort and sadness—enthralled me as the mystery unfolded like a gentle call to arms. From poverty to wealth and from wealth to poverty, we see through Danny’s eyes the struggle to hold the family together against grief, greed, and the heartbreak of losing all that once bound them. Patchett paints a masterpiece here; there’s no looking away. It lingers in your imagination long after the story has been told.”Diane McGuire, Valley Bookseller
“You can sign me up for any book that is narrated by Tom Hanks. His voice is so incredibly soothing that I could have fallen asleep listening to it. But that would be a mistake. The Dutch House is the evil stepmother story you never knew you needed, and so much more. Though it may be my first read by Ann Patchett, it certainly won't be my last. She writes so lyrically, lending this family epic extra heart and a whole lot of beauty. Though it centers on incredible hardship and grief, I laughed (sometimes at the preposterousness of the situation or commentary) as often as I cried. Patchett made me care, deeply, about her characters, especially Maeve. A timely commentary on how family values influence our choices, the value of forgiveness, and the importance of asserting our own individuality, The Dutch House is a must-listen.”Britt, Second Star to the Right
“I finished this book wishing that I could tour THE DUTCH HOUSE in real life. I'm sure every person who reads this wishes they could have had Maeve's room. Patchett writes another beautiful and vivid family drama story. What she does best & my favorite aspect of her writing is her character development. The story can be a bit slow but it helped shape the characters and their relationships. Once I heard that Tom Hanks was the narrator of the audiobook, I immediately put myself on the library wait list. The entire time I pictured him as our main character, Danny, going through life and it made me like the book so much more.”Monica, Kramerbooks
“I love Ann Patchett. The Dutch House is the story of brother and sister Danny and Maeve and how after losing their mother and then their father, they are cast out of the only home they know. It is then that Danny and Maeve realize they only have each other to rely on. Their relationship is complex and intriguing. Danny and Maeve are each other's saviors, but I am wondering if they are also not each other's downfall. I am finding that I can't put this story down. Wonderfully written. A great book club selection. Also, such a pleasure to listen to the Tom Hanks recording.”Karen, Anderson's Bookshop
“Even if you've already Ann Patchett's masterful new novel, don't overlook the audio version! Knowing the story and hearing Tom Hanks as Danny are unique experiences -- in fact, listeners can savor Hanks' insightful depiction of the narrator even better knowing the plot. Patchett's work and Hanks' interpretation are a perfect match!”Cheryl, Book Passage
“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.”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.