The Dutch House

The Dutch House

A Novel

eBook - 2019 | First edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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. Cyril's son Danny and his older sister 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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2019]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062963697
Branch Call Number: OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 1 online resource (337 pages)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From Library Staff

"The intricate relationship of a brother and sister woven through a shared majestic childhood home, evil step mother, and mysterious disappearance of their mother." Sandra, Hourly Librarian

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 29, 2020

Great book
Loved it!

May 22, 2020

Rec from sally

May 16, 2020

Conroy son Danny narrates this family story of his rags-to-riches father, the mother who goes missing, his beloved older sister Maeve and the spectacular Dutch House that is their home. Covering nearly fifty years and many more characters with whom Maeve and Danny’s lives intersect, the consequences of life-altering decisions are at the heart of this well-told story.

Patchett slowly unravels the Conroy story. It’s a unique one. Beautiful storytelling, although the ending surprises and begs discussion. Not a Patchett devotee. Have started other of her books; first one I’ve finished.

May 14, 2020

I've heard of so many people who loved Bel Canto and thought this book was boring. I didn't care especially for Bel Canto but loved the Dutch House. It is a great story of how a place can have profound meaning for people, even when the meaning is very different. There's no big mystery, twist or action. Just a story of people, especially the bond between siblings.

May 07, 2020

I have enjoyed reading other novels by Patchett, e.g. Bel Canto and State of Wonder, and was always caught up in the personas of one or more of the characters. But this one was a disappointment. I didn't care for any of the characters, nor did I find any of their own stories even a bit interesting, nor did I care what happened to them. I finished it only because I still have it at home as the libraries are all closed for the duration. (May, 2020)

Apr 16, 2020

This elegantly written story is about a grand house and its pull - and push - on two families. The narrator is Danny, a young boy at the beginning living in the Dutch House, a middle-aged man at the end, a skilled surgeon who never practiced medicine. It's about ambition, betrayal, love and hatred, grudges and forgiveness. It's not a beautiful story, but it is beautifully written. Neither is it a sad story, but more of a prism looking obliquely into how different people see things very differently and how that is inevitable and shouldn't stop people from loving each other or from being happy.

I usually review mysteries and non-fiction books, especially about science or technical matters, so this is a bit of a change for me. There is no deep dark family secret to be uncovered, yet there are a number of plot surprises, and a number of answers to questions that unfold to mysteries that you didn't realize were mysteries. Although this may not be in my usual wheelhouse, I enjoyed it very much.

DBRL_ReginaF Mar 30, 2020

This was such a fantastic story and it's available as an ebook and audio download. And, honestly, who doesn't want to be read to by Tom Hanks right now?

Mar 24, 2020

I found this an extremely boring book. I have heard wonderful things about the author but could hardly make it through this book. I just read it a few weeks ago and upon seeing the title yesterday, had to look it up to remember the characters and plot. Extremely forgettable in my opinion. It is the first Ann Patchett book I’ve read and I don’t know if there will be a second one. Totally unimpressed!

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Mar 10, 2020

A solid character-driven family narrative. Plus Tom Hanks reads the audio...points for that!

Mar 07, 2020

This book is supposedly a tale of a house as told by Danny Conroy, one of the children who grew up there, and is a novel. I would say that Danny's voice rings through with such sincerity that the book reads like a memoir. Danny and Maive grow up in "The Dutch House" with their father, as their mother has mysteriously left. It is a magnificent house in Philadelphia. The book covers a period of five decades and tells of the reversal of fortunes of the Conroy children when their father marries Andrea. Maive wants Danny to be a doctor. Will he become a doctor or follow in his father's footsteps and build a real estate empire? Will they become rich enough to buy back the Dutch House? These and other questions are answered in the book. It is a testament to the author's story telling ability that I wanted to start reading the book again as soon as I had finished it!

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Feb 27, 2020

"...the things we could do nothing about were best put out of our minds." p.70

Jan 21, 2020

“Habit is a funny thing. You might think you understand it, but you can never exactly see what it looks like when you’re doing it.” - p.255

Jan 21, 2020

"Disappointment comes from expectation, and in those days I had no expectation that Andrea would get anything less than what she wanted.” - pp. 58-59

Jan 21, 2020

“Do you think it’s possible to ever see the past as it actually was?” I asked my sister…

“I see the past as it actually was, “ Maeve said….

“But 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.” - p. 45

ArapahoeAnnaL Nov 03, 2019

'Home is so sad...It stays as it was left, shaped to the comfort of the last to go as if to win them back. Instead, bereft of anyone to please, it withers so, having no heart to put aside the theft. And turn again to what it started as, a joyous shot at how things ought to be, long fallen wide. You can see how it was: look at the pictures and the cutlery. The music in the piano stool. That vase.' Larkin

ArapahoeAnnaL Nov 03, 2019

'You think he was sleeping with Fluffy?' I asked her... The news of this affair came to me as most information did: many years after the fact, in a car parked outside the Dutch house with my sister.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at PACL

To Top