The Dutch House

The Dutch House

A Novel

Book - 2019
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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 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. Cyril's son Danny and his older sister 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.
Publisher: New York, New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, ©2019.
ISBN: 9780062966292
0062966294
Characteristics: 337 pages ;,24 cm.

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CircMary Dec 10, 2019

Another great read by Ann Patchett. She had me hooked from the first pages. At the beginning of the second part I asked myself what else could possibly happen after such a beginning. Let me tell you, there was plenty more in store for this family.

a
AnneCarolineDrake
Dec 07, 2019

Very disappointing. The plot was disjointed, and I've read far better stories about dysfunctional families. The only upside was that the characters were interesting.

i
InsJavert
Dec 04, 2019

An endearing read. Ms. Patchett weaves an intriguing story around the "Dutch House".

This house is the center of the story, but only as it is the one place where all the lives of the characters intersect and find a commonality. The essence of the story is about life, family, tragedy, and all tragedies and joys which make up life. Finely told and well developed, this story takes the reader on a journey in which the ills, prejudices, and deep seated in us all are interwoven with the ideals of all; love, kindness, forgiveness, and selflessness, emerge to bring peace, understanding, and restoration to a dysfunctional family dynamic.

Plain and simply, this is a story about life; the worst in us and the best in us. In the end, and what impacted me the most, is discovering what forgiveness truly means, what caring for one another means without self gratification or concern. In the sorrows and tragedies of everyday life, when we learn to truly forgive, when we look beyond ourselves and give of ourselves for another, we then find the richness of life fulfilled, and the peace which comes with it as well as a deeper, fuller, and fulfilled life.

Typical, the plot is about a dysfunctional family dynamic, (who hasn't experienced this), who through riches, wealth, prosperity, plummet into a loathing and hatefulness which manifests itself in every thread of family dynamics. The cycle is finally broken when all the tragedies suffered by the members, find peace through forgiveness and caring for one another.

Ms. Patchett writing style and character development is very accomplished. The reader is engaged completely, the descriptions at all levels, from the physical to emotional are well developed, believable and livable. You are drawn in and find yourself a part of the story, through the lives of the characters.

A well written and engaging story, which leaves the reader with much to ponder and contemplate is a positive way.

n
njon38
Dec 03, 2019

Narrated by the younger brother it is the story of the relationship between him and his older sister. Abandoned by their mother after their father bought her the Dutch House house, then losing their father to an early death they came to depend on each other. The Dutch House plays an important character in the novel.

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PiepieB
Dec 02, 2019

This was my first Ann Patchett work of fiction. The book is slow (as in, not much happens) but the writing is engaging and entertaining. The story is narrated by Danny, who along with his older sister Maeve, are the center of the story. Their home, the "Dutch House," that they are kicked out of when their father passes away, is just as important a character. You'll continue to wonder about Danny and Maeve long after you've turned the last page.

ArapahoeAnnaL Nov 03, 2019

The main character narrates the story of of his life as he understands it. He and his sister have been abandoned twice, as children and young adults, and depend on each other to create a shared memory of the past and cope with the present. Feelings about the majestic house their father bought for their mother trigger the plot and bring out the personalities of those who lived in the house.

t
trickbag22
Nov 03, 2019

Ann Patchett never disappoints

ArapahoeAlice Nov 01, 2019

Ann Patchett's writing, characterization and plotting are so seamless, it's at the end of the book that you realize what an extraordinary experience it is to have been inside one of her books. Highly recommend!

mko123 Oct 22, 2019

This is the story of a house, at once both magnificent in its splendor and grotesque in its conspicuous wealth. It all depends on what the blended family members experience within its walls. The portrait on the cover is part of the family drama and mystery that is slowly revealed as you experience the pain of Danny, one of the orphan children who is cast out of his home by the wicked stepmother. A compelling retelling of Hansel and Gretel. I highly recommend this story of a fractured family finding grace in an unexpected way.

d
DonnaShaheen
Oct 15, 2019

Nana recommended

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ArapahoeAnnaL Nov 03, 2019

'Home is so sad...It stays as it was left, shaped to the comfort of the last to go as if to win them back. Instead, bereft of anyone to please, it withers so, having no heart to put aside the theft. And turn again to what it started as, a joyous shot at how things ought to be, long fallen wide. You can see how it was: look at the pictures and the cutlery. The music in the piano stool. That vase.' Larkin

ArapahoeAnnaL Nov 03, 2019

'You think he was sleeping with Fluffy?' I asked her... The news of this affair came to me as most information did: many years after the fact, in a car parked outside the Dutch house with my sister.

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