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The Dutch House: A Novel by Ann Patchett
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The Dutch House: A Novel (edition 2019)

by Ann Patchett (Author)

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6154324,943 (4.3)46
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.… (more)
Member:ablachly
Title:The Dutch House: A Novel
Authors:Ann Patchett (Author)
Info:Harper (2019), Edition: 1st, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:best of 2019, family saga, siblings, philadelphia, nyc

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The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

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The Dutch House - Patchett
Audio performance by Tom Hanks
5 stars

“Our childhood was a fire. There had been four children in the house and only two of them had gotten out.”

Danny Conroy is telling the story of a family. It’s about his parents, his father and his absent mother. It’s about his stepmother and her two daughters. Eventually, he adds his wife and his own children to the continuing saga. But, mostly this story is about his sister, Maeve. It’s also the story of the Dutch House, a lavish, incongruous mansion which is the centerpiece for decades of family drama.

There were times when I didn’t like any of the characters in this book. They all seemed so determined to create more loss and heartache. But, I couldn’t sustain my dislike or my frustration with their behavior. Patchett has a way of writing characters who are humanly flawed individuals. I cared about them. I kept hoping life would turn out well for them. I liked that the book didn’t end with a cliched happily ever after, but with a sense of a full life coming full circle.

I don’t think I need to say anything about the audio performance. It was Tom Hanks. It was perfect. ( )
  msjudy | Dec 2, 2019 |
Lovely story and characters ( )
  ibkennedy | Dec 2, 2019 |
It delights me no end that I got my copy of this book at Ann Patchett's bookstore in Nashville. ( )
  bookczuk | Nov 30, 2019 |
5 BIG stars. This was possibly my favorite book of the year.

First, it's a given that anything Ann Patchett writes is going to be carefully crafted with deep, complex characters and a plot that unfolds at just the right pace. But what I loved about this book was the universal theme of forgiveness. This story really highlights how we are all flawed and at some point of time, we've wronged someone in our life, sometimes damaging a relationship beyond repair. The message was subtle, but the impact was big, at least for me. My husband also read this story and now when we feel like we're going off into the weeds because someone has done something 'unforgivable' we remind each other not to go all 'Dutch House' on the situation. Powerful, powerful story.

Can't wait to see what Ann Patchett writes next!

Audiobook is narrated by Tom Hanks -- what a treat! ( )
  jmoncton | Nov 30, 2019 |
I have read several of Ann Patchett's books (State of Wonder and Bel Canto) and have enjoyed them. As I started reading The Dutch House I thought that I should probably go back and read some more of her earlier works.

The Dutch House is divided into 3 parts. Quite simply it is the story of a brother and sister (Danny and Maeve) whose parents aren't there and whose stepmother treats them poorly. I really don't want to give away any spoilers. The Dutch House is a unique beautiful house which most people love although some don't.

As I read the first 2 parts I kept thinking how nice to read a good solid book with a traditional format and writing style, well developed characters and an interesting plot. I couldn't wait to keep reading. I also thought so many books today have some type of unique, sometimes to the point of weird, plot or have a writing style that isn't typical. A lot of these books do well because they're doing something that hasn't been done before. For example Lincoln in the Bardo, Milkman, etc. But as I was reading I was thinking how brilliant Ann Patchett is for sticking to tradition and creating a great novel.

I only gave this book 4 stars because the 3rd part of the book disappointed me a little bit. A lot happened vs the slower yet interesting pace of the 1st 2 parts. And maybe the plot didn't go how I would have written it. But in any case, take a rest, pick up The Dutch House and read a great book. ( )
  kayanelson | Nov 29, 2019 |
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This book is for Patrick Ryan
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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.
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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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