You are here

The Dutch House: A Novel (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
The Dutch House: A Novel Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
On hand as of Apr 21 8:15pm

Staff Reviews

I’ve been an Ann Patchett fan since college. I regularly recommend her writing, enjoying both her non-fiction and her novels over the years, but this is definitely her best work yet. I love this fairytale-like novel of two siblings Danny and Maeve, told through the eyes of the younger brother Danny, and spanning from their childhood to middle age. It is the story of how our personal history is created partially by imagining the inner lives of those within our family orbit. Ultimately, it is the characters’ confrontation and grappling with their childhood perceptions of familial roles and situations that propel the novel. A thoughtful meditation on the shifting sands of personal histories and how the stories we tell ourselves, often clouded by misconceptions, can be radically altered with a little empathy. 

— From Hilary's Picks

Last weekend I was desperately in need of a certain kind of read that would me take to a place unlike where I've been spending the last fews month with the books I've been reading: all novels about climate crisis, pain, and angst. Thank goodness for Ann Patchett, one of my very favorite authors, for her charming quirky five decades-long story about the Conroy family. Patchett, so adept at character development, has once again painted for the reader relatable, larger-than-life people. Except for Andrea and Celeste, who we are not meant to like, I instantly felt at home with each member of the extended Conroy family, as well as fantasizing about moving into the Dutch House with them. "The Dutch House" is a love affair with the Conroys, as much as it is a love affair with the glorious Philadelphia mansion in which it takes places. I'd love to live with this delightful group of people in the house Ann Patchett created with great imagination. Now what am I going to read?!

— From Vicki's Picks

October 2019 Indie Next List

“Meeting the Conroy family and stepping into their elaborate Dutch house—part museum, part home, with all its secrets and charm, comfort and sadness—enthralled me as the mystery unfolded like a gentle call to arms. From poverty to wealth and from wealth to poverty, we see through Danny’s eyes the struggle to hold the family together against grief, greed, and the heartbreak of losing all that once bound them. Patchett paints a masterpiece here; there’s no looking away. It lingers in your imagination long after the story has been told.”
— Diane McGuire, Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, MN


New York Times Bestseller | A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick | 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 SimpleGood 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.

About the Author

Praise For…

The Dutch House has the richness, allusiveness, and emotional heft of the best fiction.”
Boston Globe

"As always, the author draws us close to her protagonists swiftly and gracefully."
Wall Street Journal

"Patchett’s prose is confident, unfussy and unadorned."
New York Times

“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.”
Publishers Weekly(starred review)

“This richly furnished novel gives brilliantly clear views into the lives it contains.”
Kirkus Reviews(starred review)

"You won’t want to put down this engrossing, warmhearted book even after you’ve read the last page.”

"Ann Patchett spins a dark, compelling fairy tale in The Dutch House."
Entertainment Weekly

A big-hearted, capacious novel...”
Chapter 16

The Dutch House is unusual, thoughtful and oddly exciting, as well-told domestic dramas can be.”
Columbus Dispatch

“Patchett’s storytelling abilities shine in this gratifying novel.”
Associated Press

“Expect miracles when you read Ann Patchett’s fiction.”
New York Times Book Review

“Patchett is a master storyteller.”
O, the Oprah Magazine

“A lavishly gifted writer.”
Los Angeles Times

“Patchett writes enviable prose—fluid, simple, direct, clear, and fearless.”

PEOPLE Magazine, Best Books of Fall 2019

“Patchett is at her subtle yet shining finest in this gloriously incisive, often droll, quietly suspenseful drama of family, ambition, and home. . . . With echoes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and in sync with Alice McDermott, Patchett gracefully choreographs surprising revelations and reunions as her characters struggle with the need to be one’s true self.”

"As always, Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life rather than literature."
The Guardian

"For Patchett fans who have been waiting for years, it's a worthwhile read."
Evening Standard (London)

"The Dutch House confirms what we've always known: Ann Patchett doesn't write a bad book."

"This finely textured novel is made up of many such small, intimate moments, yet the effect is sweeping, grand, and lavish—and all deeply moving."
New York Journal of Books

"This is a serious and poignant story, but also a delightfully funny one."
Washington Independent Review of Books

"The Dutch House is beautifully written and often tender."
The Spectator

"A great novelist is on top form with this tale of lost family home."
The Times (London)

"Subtle mystery, psychological page-turner, Patchett's latest is a thriller."
Washington Post
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062963680
ISBN-10: 0062963686
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: January 5th, 2021
Pages: 352
Language: English