The Dutch House: A Novel (Hardcover)
October 2019 Indie Next List
“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, Stillwater, MN
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.
About the Author
ANN PATCHETT is the author of seven novels, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder, and Commonwealth. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories, 2006, and has written three books of nonfiction, Truth & Beauty, about her friendship with the writer, Lucy Grealy, What now? an expansion of her graduation address at Sarah Lawrence College, and, most recently, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, a collection of essays.
In November 2011, she opened Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, with her partner Karen Hayes. She has since gone on to be a spokesperson for independent booksellers, talking about books and bookstores on “The Colbert Report,” NPR, “The Martha Stewart Show” and “The CBS Early Show.” Along with James Patterson she was the honorary chair of World Book Night. In 2012 she was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Ann Patchett lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Karl VanDevender, and their dog, Sparky.
“The Dutch House has the richness, allusiveness, and emotional heft of the best fiction.”
— Boston Globe
“Patchett’s prose is confident, unfussy and unadorned.”
— New York Times
“As always, the author draws us close to her protagonists swiftly and gracefully.”
— Wall Street Journal
“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(starred review)
“This richly furnished novel gives brilliantly clear views into the lives it contains.”
— Kirkus Reviews(starred review)
"You won’t want to put down this engrossing, warmhearted book even after you’ve read the last page.”
"Ann Patchett spins a dark, compelling fairy tale in The Dutch House."
— Entertainment Weekly
“A big-hearted, capacious novel...”
— Chapter 16
“The Dutch House is unusual, thoughtful and oddly exciting, as well-told domestic dramas can be.”
— Columbus Dispatch
“Patchett’s storytelling abilities shine in this gratifying novel.”
— Associated Press
“Expect miracles when you read Ann Patchett’s fiction.”
— New York Times Book Review
“Patchett is a master storyteller.”
— O, the Oprah Magazine
“A lavishly gifted writer.”
— Los Angeles Times
“Patchett writes enviable prose—fluid, simple, direct, clear, and fearless.”
— PEOPLE Magazine, Best Books of Fall 2019
“Patchett is at her subtle yet shining finest in this gloriously incisive, often droll, quietly suspenseful drama of family, ambition, and home. . . . With echoes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and in sync with Alice McDermott, Patchett gracefully choreographs surprising revelations and reunions as her characters struggle with the need to be one’s true self.”
"As always, Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life rather than literature."
— The Guardian
"For Patchett fans who have been waiting for years, it's a worthwhile read."
— Evening Standard (London)
"The Dutch House confirms what we've always known: Ann Patchett doesn't write a bad book."
"This finely textured novel is made up of many such small, intimate moments, yet the effect is sweeping, grand, and lavish—and all deeply moving."
— New York Journal of Books
"This is a serious and poignant story, but also a delightfully funny one."
— Washington Independent Review of Books
"The Dutch House is beautifully written and often tender."
— The Spectator
"A great novelist is on top form with this tale of lost family home."
— The Times (London)
"Subtle mystery, psychological page-turner, Patchett's latest is a thriller."
— Washington Post
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