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The Dutch House

by Ann Patchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,8431963,766 (4.1)221
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 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 unshakable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.… (more)
  1. 20
    The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (shaunie)
    shaunie: The Dutch House is in some ways a slimmed down, more enjoyable Goldfinch.
  2. 05
    Stardust by Neil Gaiman (Sandwich76)
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» See also 221 mentions

English (192)  German (1)  All languages (193)
Showing 1-5 of 192 (next | show all)
I was curious about the title as the cover art caught my eyes when browsing on my Kindle. I'm always happy when the cover art credit is provided and share that the cover painting is by Noah Saterstrom with cover design by Robin Bilardello. In reading the book's description, I became curious about "The Dutch House" with description as "a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia."

As I have lived in the suburbs of Philadelphia for the majority of my life I thought it would be an interesting reading experience as I might have familiarity with the local areas mentioned. I did recognize the names of Elkins Park and Glenside but only because they were part of our driving route to NE Philadelphia where my grandparents lived but we lived further north and west of the city and a dear friend grew up in Jenkintown.

Other than the local setting I don't know what I expected but I can't say that I ever warmed to any of the characters. I've not read any other novels by Ann Patchett and I'm not eager to try another or at least not for quite some time. ( )
  FerneMysteryReader | Oct 11, 2021 |
Such a good writer! Easy to read. Characters you get to like. Twists snd turns. Very satisfying ( )
  PhilipJHunt | Oct 11, 2021 |
It would be hard to overstate how much I loved this book. I don’t know if there’s ever a novel I’ve read that evoked so much emotion in me. The characters feel dear to me and I feel their pain, confusion and solace. ( )
  jcoleman3307 | Oct 7, 2021 |
When we buy a home we are also buying our hopes and dreams for our family's future. What we envision can be undone in a generation.

( )
  auldhouse | Sep 30, 2021 |
The narrator of this story is Danny Conroy who grew up in the Dutch House with his sister Maeve until they were thrown out by their stepmother Andrea. The house was owned by the VanHoebeek family in a suburb of Philadelphia. It seems that the design was of the Frank Lloyd Wright school and was a showpiece in the city. The story is about abandonment, sibling love, relationships and status.
Danny witnesses the disappearance of his mother Elna, Saturday trips with his father Cyril to pick up rent from tenants, the arrival of Andrea and her children, his studies at medical school, the love and support of his sister Maeve, the kindness and support of mother substitutes Sandy, Jocelyn and Fiona and his marriage to Celeste.
The most important relationship is with Maeve who is whip smart and extremely capable but who chooses to remain as an accountant so she can manage Danny’s upbringing, education and personal life while she battles diabetes. They frequently visit the Dutch house and remain in her car while they discuss their lives, hope and dreams.
The house is a status symbol to Cyril, a cause of despair to Elna, wonder, comfort and rupture to Danny and Maeve and ambition, greed and cruelty in Andrea.
Good story, just not my favourite Patchett book. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Sep 26, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 192 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patchett, Annprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bilardello, RobinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hanks, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Metsch, FritzDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saterstrom, NoahCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
This book is for Patrick Ryan
First words
The first time our father brought Andrea to the Dutch House, Sandy, our housekeeper, came to my sister's room and told us to come downstairs.
Quotations
There are a few times in life when you leap up and the past that you'd been standing on falls away behind you, and the future you mean to land on is not yet in place, and for a moment you're suspended, knowing nothing and no one, not even yourself.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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 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 unshakable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

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Haiku summary
La mère part en Inde,
La belle-mère les jette dehors
Seule reste la maison
(Tiercelin)

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