The Dutch House
Out of stock
‘Ann Patchett just gets better and better … With more than a nod to Henry James , The Dutch House is quietly devastating, often mysterious and rather beautiful in its effortlessly readable melancholy’ Observer
Longlisted for the Women’s Prize 2020
*The Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller and a ‘Book of the Year’ 2019*
Selected as Book of the Year in The Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Washington Post, Herald and Good Housekeeping
A heart-wrenching new novel of the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister, their childhood home, and a past that will not let them go – from the Number One New York Times bestselling author of Bel Canto and Commonwealth
“‘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.”
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.
Told across the decades with Ann Patchett’s inimitable blend of humour, rage and heartbreak, The Dutch House is a book for our times; of family, love, loss, and the powerful bonds of place and time that magnetize and repel us for our whole lives.
Reviews for The Dutch House:
‘The book of the autumn … Her finest novel yet’ Sunday Times
‘A wonderful hypnotic masterpiece of a novel. The best book I’ve read in years’ Rosamund Lupton
‘What a spectacular novel. A masterpiece, I’d say’ Cathy Rentzenbrink
‘Indelibly poignant’ Observer
‘One of my top favourite contemporary writers. There isn’t a book of hers that I haven’t put down at the end and been haunted by for weeks after’ Gillian Anderson
‘The buzz around The Dutch House is totally justified. Her best yet, which is saying something’ John Boyne
A wonderful hypnotic masterpiece of a novel. The best book I've read in years -- Rosamund Lupton We're calling it now: The Dutch House will be the book of the autumn ... Her finest novel yet * Sunday Times * Few novelists today combine such a forensic eye with an acute and humane understanding of human nature. I would read Ann Patchett's shopping list -- Jojo Moyes Ann Patchett writes novels that quietly and thoroughly devastate the reader - in a good way. Her new novel is no exception * Red * What a spectacular novel. A masterpiece, I'd say -- Cathy Rentzenbrink Wise and funny and unwraps the complexities of human beings with heartbreaking tenderness. I love this book -- Renee Knight Bliss -- Nigella Lawson The buzz around The Dutch House is totally justified. Her best yet, which is saying something -- John Boyne If there's a better, more poignant or involving novel than The Dutch House published this year, I will be very, very surprised * Andrew Holgate * Praise for Commonwealth: 'Dazzling * Sunday Times * Patchett blends wisdom and humanity jointly with the icy forensic gaze of someone not afraid to expose the frailties of human behaviour ... Read it -- Jojo Moyes Patchett writes excellently and seemingly artlessly * Daily Mail * Stunning -- India Knight * Sunday Times * Hugely entertaining and an unsettling joy to read -- Roddy Doyle * Irish Times * An outstanding novel ... The opening is a show stopper ... Patchett is a pleasure to read: there is a no-fuss casualness to the prose that is only possible when a writer is in control of every word and she is master of her art * Observer * From the mesmerising first chapter to the final page, Ann Patchett's new novel is utterly brilliant. This domestic drama deals in loyalties, sibling rivalries, jealously and heartbreak in an effortlessly graceful style that makes for unputdownable reading * Sunday Express * The opening scene .... is a faultless set piece ... Her prose is equally powerful when she's evoking a 1970s summer in Virginia ... Patchett deftly summons up a simmering childhood anger and dangerously ricocheting energy * The Times * The book flows easily between narrators, constantly switching from past to present, and slowly revealing what happened that summer, allowing Patchett to play with memory and perspective to surprisingly moving effect ... Commonwealth is a book about relationships and the obligations they bring .. Poignant ... funny ... An engaging novel that draws you in with sharp observation, a gin-fuelled plot written in beautiful prose and convincing dialogue. You miss the characters once it's over * Evening Standard * She achieves the great novel of American domestic life with a spare hand and a demotic prose that seems to come from the mouths of her characters, even when they aren't speaking ... Her unshowy account of public and private stories addresses the great puzzle of what our lives are really made of ... This novel convinces me she's wiping the floor with her heftier competitors -- Linda Grant * Daily Telegraph * Commonwealth is full of heart, and is Patchett's most complex and emotionally suspenseful novel. She never hits a wrong note although she conjures with many deftly drawn characters. The opening chapter is one of the best party-scene seductions ever written -- Louise Erdrich She is one of those rare writers, like Anne Enright or Anne Tyler, who is able to convey poignancy and humour in the space of a single sentence -- Elizabeth Day * Irish Times * So clear and clean and at the top of her game ... It is just so masterfully done. The sweep of it and the subtlety of the ideas -- Esther Freud Beautiful -- Katie Roiphe * Observer * Gorgeously evocative writing and complex characters ... Patchett is a writer of exceptional talent, and this is one of her best yet * Good Housekeeping * A deft craftsman ... Patchett ultimately wins the reader over with her perceptive qualities, alluring characters and undertone of humour ... In Commonwealth, Patchett's nimble storytelling floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee * Literary Review * This delicate exploration of the ties that bind us never seems to lose focus * Stylist * An absorbing, brilliantly observed novel * Woman & Home * Rich and engrossing ... her observations about people and life are insightful; and her underlying tone is one of compassion and amusement ... Patchett also skilfully illustrates the way that seemingly minor, even arbitrary decisions can have long-lasting consequences and the way that we often fear the wrong things -- Curtis Sittenfeld * New York Times * Delicious. From the moment a kiss at a christening ends up sparking the divide and re-merging of two families, I was drawn into the minutiae of the drama ... Patchett makes you feel like you've lived among it and have been subsumed into the newly drawn clan * Grazia *
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?