The Dutch House - Ann Patchett

The Dutch House

By Ann Patchett

  • Release Date: 2019-09-24
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 2,020 Ratings


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.


  • Fabulous

    By Meghan042
    One of my favorite books!!! Loved it from start to finish!! I didn't want it to end!
  • Excellent novel of a mansion occupied over time by several families.

    By Westportbayside
    Fascinating characters, well written.
  • Great Character Development

    By Hoogle Da Boogle
    A wonderful read. I felt empathy for the main characters and thoroughly enjoyed the relationship of the siblings as it progressed over the years. The author does a great job of making you feel like you are in the places and eras she describes without going totally overboard.
  • The Dutch House

    By tagawgrag
    The first two thirds are great. The last third okay. I did not like the mother. The mother was “saint” even though she left her two little children. She wasn’t beaten and her husband loved her. I found her actions to be selfish. As a mother, I could not imagine totally abandoning my child, for years, and for her reason. It made me wonder if the author is a mother.
  • The Dutch House

    By Barkmanny
    Excellent! I couldn’t put it down. When I read this author I feel so connected to the characters. She explores real life issues
  • The Dutch House

    By Readingbythesea
    Started out interesting with family and loyalty. The story takes an interesting turn and becomes repetitive, and ends flat.
  • wonderful story

    By tc33bby
    The author tells the story with such precision and flair. Couldn’t put it down
  • The Dutch House

    By 6161maui
    What a great book! Loved it!
  • The house is a character

    By DebAff
    Sorry, I found this book really boring. I got through it, but admit I had to skim through a good bit of the repetition. Nothing exciting really happens at any time in this plot line.
  • Mediocre

    By Tarberg
    This book was mediocre and predictable. Nothing happens that makes sense . Shallow characters and situations that are ridiculous and improbable. Had great reviews but I was disappointed.