The Dutch House

Author(s): Ann Patchett

Fiction - General | Spring Reading Guide 2019 | Staff Picks | Spectrum - October 2019 | Summer Reading Guide 2019/20

A masterpiece from the Orange Prize-winning, New York Times number one bestselling author of Commonwealth and Bel Canto: a story of love, family, sacrifice, and the power of place.


Danny Conroy grows up in the Dutch House, a lavish folly in small-town Pennsylvania taken on by his property developer father. Though his father is distant and his mother is absent, Danny has his beloved sister Maeve: Maeve, with her wall of black hair, her delicacy, her brilliance. Life is comfortable and coherent, played out under the watchful eyes of the house's former owners in the frames of their oil paintings, or under the cover of the draperies around the window seat in Maeve's room.


Then one day their father brings Andrea home: Andrea, small and neat, a dark hat no bigger than a saucer pinned over a twist of her fair hair. Though they cannot know it, Andrea's advent to the Dutch House sows the seed of the defining loss of Danny and Maeve's lives. Her arrival will exact a banishment: a banishment whose reverberations will echo for the rest of their lives. For all that the world is open to him, for all that he can accumulate, for all that life is full, Danny and his sister are drawn back time and again to the place they can never enter, knocking in vain on the locked door of the past. For behind the mystery of their own enforced exile is that of their mother's self-imposed one: an absence more powerful than any presence they have known.


Told with Ann Patchett's inimitable blend of wit and heartbreak, The Dutch House is a story of family, betrayal, love, responsibility and sacrifice; of the powerful bonds of place and time that magnetize and repel us for our whole lives, and the lives of those who survive us.

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The Sunday Times bestseller and a 'Book of the Year' 2019

A gloriously immersive family saga about lost inheritance -- Guardian, Books of the Year

One of my top favourite contemporary writers. I don't think that there's a book of hers that I haven't put down at the end and been haunted by for weeks after -- Gillian Anderson

The vicissitudes of life in a step-family unfold over five decades ... A moving portrait of an unusual house and the unhappy family living in it --The Times, Book of the Year   

The Dutch House is a novel that assures Patchett, alongside John Irving and Anne Tyler, a place as one of the foremost chroniclers of the burdens of emotional inventory and its central place in American lives -- Catherine Taylor, Financial Times

Indelibly poignant in its long unspooling perspective on family life, The Dutch House brilliantly captures how time undoes all certainties --Observer

An intimate and transporting novel ... The Dutch House is a novel brimming with pain and tenderness in which Patchett's gifts as a storyteller are on full display ... A searching, exquisitely wrenching novel about family, sacrifice and obsession --Sunday Times 

One of the most celebrated novelists of our times ... But it is her new book, widely billed a one of this autumn's best new reads, where she truly comes into her own -- Sunday Times Magazine

A family story full of love and pain and insight --Herald, Books of the Year

Impeccably fine ... A thoughtful, quietly profound book -- i paper

The Dutch House offers ... A simultaneous awareness of human fragility and human resilience -- Daily Telegraph

As always, Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life, rather than literature --Times Literary Supplement, Books of the Year 

I loved Commonwealth and I love this one even more.  Patchett has an Austen-esque gift for capturing the cadences of family life, especially in families that have been riven, sheered apart and flung off into new orbits. She’s equally good at depicting heartbreaking acts of cruelty and the improbable persistence of love.  --GERALDINE BROOKS

Ann Patchett is the author of seven novels and three works of non-fiction. She has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction three times; with The Magician's Assistant in 1998, winning the prize with Bel Canto in 2002, and was most recently shortlisted with State of Wonder in 2012. She is also the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Karl.

General Fields

  • : 9781526614957
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : August 2019
  • : ---length:- '9.213'width:- '6.024'units:- Inches
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 336
  • : 336
  • : Ann Patchett
  • : Ann Patchett
  • : 1 Fiction
  • : 1 Fiction
  • : 813.6
  • : 813.6
  • : en
  • : en
  • : 1909
  • : 1909
  • : Paperback
  • : Paperback