The Dutch House

The Dutch House

A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2019
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Audiobook performed by Tom Hanks.

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

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 | 2020 Audie Finalist – Audiobook of The Year & Best Male Narrator

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.


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r
rrickman
Apr 02, 2021

This book was not what I was expecting and I hate to have the unpopular opinion but it was just okay. I listened on audiobook because I couldn’t get into the physical copy and Tom Hanks as the narrator was the only great thing about it.

Following Danny and Maeve across the decades of their life, the story revolves around their childhood home, The Dutch House. Not only does their mother leave when they’re young because of the house, their father marries someone awful because she loves the house. Then they’re kicked out of the house by new said step-mom and can’t seem to let the house go.

This was a character driven story- there wasn’t much actually happening besides their every day lives. It was an interesting exploration of what it means to find home in people instead of a place. The narrator, Danny, was insufferable. Oh no I just HAVE to go to Columbia medical school, woe is me!! Yikes... I cringed reading this book so many times because of him.

All in all, it was enjoyable, just didn’t change my life the way it did for some people. Again, a great reason to remember that reading is completely subjective and I can recognize how others will completely love this book.

r
ronston63
Jul 17, 2020

I loved this story. Tom Hanks was the perfect voice to narrate.

d
darladoodles
May 08, 2020

This character-driven saga narrated by Tom Hanks was simply a delight to listen to. I cannot imagine that a better voice for Danny Conroy could be found in this universe. "The Dutch House" is brought to life and elevated by this audio production. If you haven't read it yet, skip right to the audio book.

ArapahoeKati Jan 23, 2020

Tom Hanks did a masterful job with this character-driven novel. If you like books about relationships between families, particularly siblings, read this.

m
maipenrai
Dec 14, 2019

I was disappointed. Two siblings suffer the loss of their mother and a fancy house. They perseverate on the house as the symbol of their loss. Danny fails to grow as a person and cannot adequately love his wife and children. Like his father before him, he gives gifts to his wife that she does not want, but makes no effort to stop navel gazing and know her. He leaves his own children emotionally - just as devastating as an actual physical loss. There are sources of help, but non are sought. Danny becomes a doctor only to deplete the education trust that might benefit his step-siblings. A selfish act in taking the position of someone who actually wanted to be a doctor and help people. I found no empathy for Danny, only disappointment. Even the very end leaves the house as the obsession. Kristi & Abby Tabby

k
KarenDem
Dec 10, 2019

Riveting. I love this type of book that follows a family and their employees through time. This family had one memorable experience after another, and all tied back to the house in some way.

SPL_HEATHERL Nov 26, 2019

Please see summary section for a full review of this book.

p
PeggyJ_0
Nov 01, 2019

I loved this book. I’m not sure if it was the book, or Tom Hanks reading the book that I loved most. It’s a very different book from what I usually read/listen to. Is it a story of a house? A very dysfunctional family? A love story of a brother and sister? What ever I’m so happy I saw that beautiful cover of the little girl in the red coat.

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SPL_HEATHERL Nov 26, 2019

A new story from a favourite author is always something to look forward to, but when that novel is read for the audio version by the inimitable Tom Hanks, you know you’re in for a treat.
Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House is the story of Danny Conroy and his sister Maeve. The siblings grow up in a large Pennsylvania mansion built after the Second World War by Dutch immigrants. Cyril Conroy, Danny and Maeve’s father, bought the house hoping to make his wife happy, and to showcase his own success. Eerily the house is full of the portraits and possessions off the Dutch family that lived there before them.
Little does Cyril know that his purchase of the house will set off a chain of events that will affect the lives of Danny and Maeve for the next five decades.The children’s mother, Elna, fells uncomfortable in the enormous mansion. For her the decadence of the house represents all that’s wrong with the world. She eventually flees, abandoning her children and husband, and it falls on the no-nonsense Maeve to take care of her little brother. Just as life seems to be getting back to normal their father moves his new wife, Andrea in, with disastrous consequences. The Dutch House is a modern day fairy tale and Andrea is the quintessential evil stepmother duping the children of their home and inheritance.
Patchett has long been revered for her strong character driven stories such as Bel Canto and State of Wonder, and The Dutch House doesn’t disappoint. Hanks, the narrator, embodies the character of Danny as if he’s sitting in his armchair telling you all about his life. His narration adds a richness and depth to Patchett’s already compelling story.
If you’ve read Patchett’s earlier novels you’ll know to expect the very best writing and that you’re going to meet characters who will stay with you long after turning the last page. If this is your first novel by her, I think you’ll finish it looking forward to exploring more of her stories.

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ArapahoeMaryA Jan 16, 2020

...we overlay the present onto the past. We look back through the lens of what we know now, so we're not seeing it as the people we were, we're seeing it as the people we are, and that means the past has been radically altered.

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