The Dutch House - Ann Patchett

The Dutch House

By Ann Patchett

  • Release Date: 2019-09-24
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 3,556 Ratings


Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

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.


  • Children caught in the middle

    By -Southern-Charm
    Adult decisions and delusions impact children. How they adapt and blossom is remarkable.
  • Amazing!

    By CZ1622
    Such a powerful message and absolutely beautiful writing! The author gets it right at every single turn. I love this book and didn’t want to put it down.
  • Beautifully written but slow

    By grrreatk8
    Detailed descriptions made the book come to life but the plot slugged along. I put it down a few times and came back to it. Liked the ending!
  • What a House/ Home can mean

    By columbia 66
    Interesting characters, well-written, worth the time. Would be an excellent selection for a book club! I liked it. Definitely worth the time.
  • The Dutch House

    By iPod Touch 3.0 update
    Boring and repetitive. I was so excited to have another Ann Patchett novel to read, but this one did not do it for me.
  • Engaging Story

    By Slightlymollywhipper
    If you like stories set in places that seem real and you love old houses, this is the book for you! Loved the characters, loved the house, loved the way Ann Patchett made the characters real and made me want to keep on reading.
  • Wonderful book

    By Beauxdy
    This was such a great book. I did not want it to end. Looking forward to her next novel.
  • Very good and unique story

    By AWhite21
    Unexpectedly good story. Kept me reading and entertained
  • Nothing happens

    By 3penny
    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 Book

    By glehman41
    Listened to audio version of book read by Tom Hanks. Excellent book