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The Dutch House
Cover of The Dutch House
The Dutch House
Borrow Borrow
Lose yourself in the story of a lifetime – the unforgettable Sunday Times bestseller
'Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life rather than literature' Guardian
Nominated for the Women's Prize 2020

A STORY OF TWO SIBLINGS, THEIR CHILDHOOD HOME, AND A PAST THAT THEY CAN'T LET GO.

Like swallows, like salmon, we were the helpless captives of our migratory patterns. We pretended that what we had lost was the house, not our mother, not our father. We pretended that what we had lost had been taken from us by the person who still lived inside.
In the economic boom following the Second World War, Cyril Conroy's real estate investments take his family from poverty to enormous wealth. With it he buys the Dutch House, a lavish mansion in the Philadelphia suburbs. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.
Danny Conroy grows up in the opulence of the Dutch House. Though his father is distant and his mother is absent, Danny has his beloved sister Maeve: Maeve, with her wall of black hair, her wit, her brilliance. The siblings grow and change as life plays out under the watchful eyes of the house's former owners, in the frames of their oil paintings.
Then one day their father brings home Andrea, a new stepmother. Though they cannot know it, her arrival to the Dutch House sows the seed of the defining loss of Danny and Maeve's lives: exiled from the house and tossed back into the poverty from which their family rose, Danny and Maeve have only each other to count on.
'The best book I've read in years' Rosamund Lupton
'Her finest novel yet' Sunday Times
'The buzz around The Dutch House is totally justified. Her best yet, which is saying something' John Boyne
'A masterpiece' Cathy Rentzenbrink
'Bliss' Nigella Lawson
Lose yourself in the story of a lifetime – the unforgettable Sunday Times bestseller
'Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life rather than literature' Guardian
Nominated for the Women's Prize 2020

A STORY OF TWO SIBLINGS, THEIR CHILDHOOD HOME, AND A PAST THAT THEY CAN'T LET GO.

Like swallows, like salmon, we were the helpless captives of our migratory patterns. We pretended that what we had lost was the house, not our mother, not our father. We pretended that what we had lost had been taken from us by the person who still lived inside.
In the economic boom following the Second World War, Cyril Conroy's real estate investments take his family from poverty to enormous wealth. With it he buys the Dutch House, a lavish mansion in the Philadelphia suburbs. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.
Danny Conroy grows up in the opulence of the Dutch House. Though his father is distant and his mother is absent, Danny has his beloved sister Maeve: Maeve, with her wall of black hair, her wit, her brilliance. The siblings grow and change as life plays out under the watchful eyes of the house's former owners, in the frames of their oil paintings.
Then one day their father brings home Andrea, a new stepmother. Though they cannot know it, her arrival to the Dutch House sows the seed of the defining loss of Danny and Maeve's lives: exiled from the house and tossed back into the poverty from which their family rose, Danny and Maeve have only each other to count on.
'The best book I've read in years' Rosamund Lupton
'Her finest novel yet' Sunday Times
'The buzz around The Dutch House is totally justified. Her best yet, which is saying something' John Boyne
'A masterpiece' Cathy Rentzenbrink
'Bliss' Nigella Lawson
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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Ann Patchett is the author of six novels and three books of non-fiction. She has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction three times; with The Magician's Assistant in 1998, winning the prize with Bel Canto in 2002, and was most recently shortlisted with State of Wonder in 2012. She is also the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012. 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.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 1, 2019
    A 1920s mansion worms into the lives of the broken family that occupies it in another masterly novel from Patchett (Commonwealth). In 1945, Brooklyn-born real-estate entrepreneur Cyril Conroy purchases the Dutch House in Elkins Park, outside Philadelphia, and presents it, complete with Delft mantels, life-size portraits of the original owners, a ballroom, and staff, to his wife. She hates it. She runs away to serve the poor, abandoning her 10-year-old daughter, Maeve, and three-year-old son, Danny. Five years later, Maeve and Danny meet Conroy’s second wife. The second Mrs. Conroy adores the house. When Cyril dies, she keeps it, dispossessing Maeve and Danny of any inheritance except funds for Danny’s education, which they use to send Danny to Choate, Columbia, and medical school. Grown-up Danny narrates, remembering his sister as an unswerving friend and protector. For Patchett, family connection comes not from formal ties or ceremonies but from shared moments: Danny accompanying his father to work, Danny’s daughter painting her grandmother’s fingernails, Maeve and Danny together trying to decode the past. Despite the presence of a grasping stepmother, this is no fairy tale, and Patchett remarkably traces acts of cruelty and kindness through three generations of a family over 50 years. 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.

  • Sunday Times Her finest novel yet
  • Guardian, Books of the Year A gloriously immersive family saga about lost inheritance
  • Gillian Anderson One of my top favourite contemporary writers. I don't think that there's a book of hers that I haven't put down at the end and been haunted by for weeks after
  • The Times, Book of the Year The vicissitudes of life in a step-family unfold over five decades ... A moving portrait of an unusual house and the unhappy family living in it
  • Evening Standard A rare book, the kind you ration, one that grabs you by the heart and brain and pulls you right in

  • Financial Times The Dutch House is a novel that assures Patchett, alongside John Irving and Anne Tyler, a place as one of the foremost chroniclers of the burdens of emotional inventory and its central place in American lives
  • Sunday Times An intimate and transporting novel ... The Dutch House is a novel brimming with pain and tenderness in which Patchett's gifts as a storyteller are on full display ... A searching, exquisitely wrenching novel about family, sacrifice and obsession
  • Sunday Times Magazine One of the most celebrated novelists of our times ... But it is her new book, widely billed a one of this autumn's best new reads, where she truly comes into her own
  • Herald, Books of the Year A family story full of love and pain and insight
  • Daily Telegraph The Dutch House offers ... A simultaneous awareness of human fragility and human resilience
  • Times Literary Supplement, Books of the Year As always, Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life, rather than literature
  • Sunday Times We're calling it now: The Dutch House will be the book of the autumn ... Her finest novel yet
  • New Statesman Patchett is a master at pacing and detail ... The question of what makes a home pervades this gripping book
  • Andrew Holgate If there's a better, more poignant or involving novel than The Dutch House published this year, I will be very, very surprised
  • Evening Standard A dark modern fairy tale, a delicately woven portrait of a family in flux
  • Mail on Sunday Wonderfully astute ... Patchett's books ... have a sly comic undertow
  • Daily Express Beautifully imagined ... Patchett has excelled herself to produce one of the most moving and engaging novels this year
  • Daily Mirror Engrossing ... A captivating family saga about injustice and forgiveness
  • Mail on Sunday Gothic and slyly comic, it's full of smart observations about sibling power struggles
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    Bloomsbury Publishing
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