A Captivating Timeless Classic, Charming and Enchanting
First of, I have to admit that I had this book read to me. HarperCollins has produced an audio version, and I do hope it will find its way onto this website. Tom Hanks has done the honours, and he has done so as beautifully and as charmingly as ever. I am truly and positively enchanted. Secondly, I simply had to buy a paper ver... First of, I have to admit that I had this book read to me. HarperCollins has produced an audio version, and I do hope it will find its way onto this website. Tom Hanks has done the honours, and he has done so as beautifully and as charmingly as ever. I am truly and positively enchanted. Secondly, I simply had to buy a paper version. I love the portrait on the cover. And when the picture was finally featured in the novel (towards the end; I may have missed it being mentioned earlier), there was no way around it any longer, I had to have a hard copy. What's not to like about Ann Patchett? Not only is she a very good writer, she is also a colleague, as it were, as the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville. She seems to have done everything right in the Dutch House. "The Dutch House" is a timeless classic. It's set in the sixties and in the years running up to the turn of the century, but it would also work if it was set a couple of hundred years before our time or after; the time doesn't even matter. It's timeless like an old house, and possibly as steadfast. There's sadness, there's joy (remember "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"). A jewel, a treasure, pure gold. It also reminded me very much of "The Great Gatsby", although there are no glamorous parties at the Dutch House, at least not at first. What's not to love? (P.S. German translation "Das Holländerhaus" due to be published on June 2, 2020!)
The Dutch House
New York Times Bestseller | A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick | A New York Times Book Review Notable Book | TIME Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of 2019
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, The Washington Post; O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Vogue, Refinery29, and Buzzfeed
Ann Patchett, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth, delivers her 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.
ANN PATCHETT is the author of seven novels,
The Patron Saint of Liars,
The Magician’s Assistant,
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.