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 (3)

Written by Anonymous on November 4th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Wow! The depth of the characters was amazing and so human. It "made" me take a look at my memories in a new light, the power of forgiveness and the realization you can only change yourself.

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Written by Anonymous on October 20th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This was so enjoyable to listen to. Great story plus the narration was wonderful. Tom Hanks has set a new standard for audiobooks!

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Written by Melissa B. on October 15th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Good story and loved Tom Hanks!

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. "