The Dutch House

The Dutch House Summary

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

New York Times Bestseller | A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick | A New York Times Book Review Notable Book | TIME Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of the Year

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, The Washington Post; O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Good 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.

Book Reviews

Luv4 chico

Loved it.5 star

It’s a story of love and hate, joy and heartbreak, otherwise known as a family.55


Engaging and Worth the Praise5 star

I held off reading because it seemed almost mainstream but it’s anything but. Really engaging and not meandering, like I expected. Beautifully written. Loved it.55


The Dutch House5 star

A lesson in forgiveness, letting go, and living life in the present. Powerful family drama.55


Heart warming5 star

It starts off slow but pick up within 15-20 pages. Just hold on.55


Meh4 star

Good but long winded. If you’re looking for action packed or the “psychological thriller” eye roll. This isn’t it. If you’re looking for slow, steady, and no excitement, you found it.45


Not what I expected5 star

Tom Hanks’ performance added an extra layer to this novel of two siblings journey through decades. While I expected the story to revolve around the house, I drove across country listening to smart and sassy characters develop. The family relationships made this a dynamic story and relatable. No such thing as a normal family, and she shows the brokenness and resilience of love. Patchett weaves a tale that puts her in my favorite authors list.55


Boring1 star

The characters are lackluster and feel flat and the story isn’t really exciting not sure how it got so many positive reviews.15


Not for Me2 star

I found this book to be so slow. Interesting plot concept, but the middle was so drawn out and the ending was anticlimactic and predictable for the most part. I would not recommend.25

The Dutch House

Great Read.4 star

Great storyline with the feeling of a resolution at the end.45


Recommend5 star

Great read!55

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