Audiobook performed by Tom Hanks.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder, comes Ann Patchett’s 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Family bonds are more important than money—but having somewhere to call home can be more important than either. Ann Patchett’s radiant and sinister novel is a complex exploration of the ways we can be haunted not just by our pasts, but by a place. The Dutch House follows protective, sardonic Maeve and her private, observant kid brother, Danny, who are thrown out of their family’s beautiful suburban home by their stepmother, Andrea, after their father dies. The siblings’ strong bond keeps them grounded, but their broken family—and lost home—remains something of an obsession throughout their adult lives. Patchett, the best-selling author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder, tells the story like a dark, modern-day fairy tale: Andrea is a straight-up wicked stepmother, almost delicious in her sheer evilness. Tom Hanks’ vivid, arresting read had us riveted. Listening to this audiobook, we really felt the pull of the Dutch House ourselves.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Loved the book. Made even better by Tom Hanks who narrated.
The story was good, but the narrator made the book great!
The Dutch House
I never wanted it to end! The Dutch House was a treasure. Tom Hanks made me feel as though I had Danny sitting on my sofa just telling me his life’s story. It was intimate and compassionate. I felt Danny’s struggle to deal with the loves of his life. Loves that brought him great joy and loves that brought him only pain.
It was tender and sweet.
Thank you Ann for writing such a beautiful book, and Mr. Hanks for doing it such justice!!!