Danny and his sister Maeve grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs. Mother disappeared, Father remarried, and the wicked stepmother threw them out on the streets. Their whole lives, they’ve been telling this story over and over, parked outside on the street, and wondering not just what’s happened to their home, but what’s happened to the people that they were. But while they are both telling family stories, it turns out they might not be telling the same story. There are so many things I love about Ann Patchett’s latest – from the way that she plays with the iconic spinster image, to the way she puts at the center of the story a heroine with diabetes, while not making the story about a heroine with diabetes, to the almost fairy tale like ambience. And then there’s the writing itself – if Ann Patchett wrote repair manuals, we’d all know how to fix our appliances.— Daniel Goldin
Ann Patchett at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts on October 22, presented by Boswell and Books & Company. Tickets at patchettwi.bpt.me.— Boswell Book Company
Who has not passed by their childhood home and "scrolled through the years,” recalling impressions that bring to mind the universal questions of family identity, complete with its losses, forgiveness, hope, and love? An intimate journey into the heart of the Conroy family, whose dream it is to live the perfect life in a suburban Philadelphia mansion, Dutch House, is shaken when Mrs. Conroy abandons her husband and children, 10-year-old Maeve and 3-year-old Danny. Layering the past with the present over five decades and three generations, readers will come to care for this family, recognizing that the powerful grip that connects them to the Dutch House has the pull to not only divide them but to also unite them. This is Ann Patchett at her brilliantly insightful best. Destined to be my favorite read of 2019!— From Jane's Staff Recommendations
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 PATCHETTis the author of seven novels and three works of nonfiction. She is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, England's Orange Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year, and was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Karl, and their dog, Sparky. annpatchett.com.
“Patchett’s prose is confident, unfussy and unadorned.”
— The New York Times
“As always, the author draws us close to her protagonists swiftly and gracefully.”
— Wall Street Journal
“The Dutch House has the richness, allusiveness, and emotional heft of the best fiction.”
— Boston Globe
“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)
“Subtle mystery, psychological page-turner, Patchett’s latest is a thriller.”
— Washington Post
“This is an author that specializes in extremely legible yarns.”
— New York magazine
“…you won’t want to put down this engrossing, warmhearted book even after you’ve read the last page.”
“...It’s something far stranger--something indelible.”
— Entertainment Weekly
“The Dutch House is 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.”