The Dutch House

Version: Unabridged
Author: Ann Patchett
Narrator: Tom Hanks
Genres: Marriage & Family
Publisher: HarperAudio
Published In: September 2019
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 9 hours
Ratings:
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Overview

Ann Patchett, the New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder, returns with 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.

"'Do you think it's possible to ever see the past as it actually was?' I asked my sister. We were sitting in her car, parked in front of the Dutch House in the broad daylight of early summer."

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.

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. Filled with suspense, you may read it quickly to find out what happens, but what happens to Danny and Maeve will stay with you for a very long time.

Reviews (42)

Written by Brian J. on February 20th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 3/5

this was not as good as I thought it was going to be, but it still made for good discussion at my book club. it's a bit slow.

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Written by Anonymous on February 14th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Not my type of book, Tom Hanks reading it was the highlight for me.

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Written by Jeff Stewart on February 14th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Ann Patchett has created an American mini-Downton Abbey where the house is the star, but its occupants provide a resonating story. Tom Hanks is magnificent in putting life into all the characters. His reading style is magnetic drawing you into the book.

Written by Cheryl Z. on February 11th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 4/5

If I could give Tom Hanks 10 stars, I would!!! I loved how he read this book! The book was interesting, thought provoking, loved the relationship between siblings.

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Written by Gina W on February 5th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Excellent deeply moving story of sibling love ❤️ and the obstacles of growing up. I loved it and couldn’t wait till the next time I could listen. Tom Hanks narration was very special and Perfect !

Written by Sharon P. on February 4th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I truly wanted this story to continue!

Written by Amy C. on January 30th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I listen to a lot of books and this is one of my favorites!! In fact I will probably listen again- which I never do! Tom hanks is brilliant and the story is a heartfelt idea of family and love. Listen to this book!!!!

Written by Anonymous on January 28th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Beautiful read

Written by Geraldine A. on January 28th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

A bit long in parts Great narrator Very good story of loss, grief, aging

Written by Deborah S. on January 28th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Tom Hanks kept me interested in this slightly dry and dark novel.

Author Details

Author Details

Patchett, Ann

"Ann Patchett was born in Los Angeles in 1963, the youngest daughter of her nurse mother and police officer father.

While attending Sarah Lawrence College, Patchett took fiction writing classes with Alan Gurganus, Russell Banks, and Grace Paley. She sold her first story to the Paris Review, where it was published before her graduation. Patchett then went on to attend the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop.

In 1990, Patchett won a residential fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It is there that she wrote her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars, which received a James A. Michener/ Copernicus Award for a book in progress. In 1993, she received a Bunting Fellowship from the Mary Ingrahm Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College.

Patchett's second novel, Taft, was awarded the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for the best work of fiction in 1994. Her third novel, The Magician's Assistant, was short-listed for England's Orange Prize and earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994. In October of the same year, just three days after the official release of The Magician's Assistant, Patchett was awarded the Nashville Banner Tennessee Writer of the Year Award.

She has also written for numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine and Gourmet.

Ann Patchett's most recent novel, Bel Canto, won the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Patchett currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She published her non-fiction work,Truth and Beauty, in 2004. "