The Dutch House

The Dutch House

A Novel

Large Print - 2019
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 : HarperLuxe, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]
Edition: First HarperLuxe edition, Larger print.
Copyright Date: ℗♭2019
ISBN: 9780062966469
Characteristics: 466 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print


From Library Staff

February 16, 2021

In Patchett's luminous novel, an orphaned brother and sister grapple with love, loss and family history after their wicked stepmother banished them from the family home. -NYT

mko123 Oct 22, 2019

This is the story of a house, at once both magnificent in its splendor and grotesque in its conspicuous wealth. It all depends on what the blended family members experience within its walls. The portrait on the cover is part of the family drama and mystery that is slowly revealed as you experie... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 18, 2021

I loved this book. Long after I have finished it, I still think of it and the characters. The house itself acts as a character in the book. The house was clearly not a typical house, and to the kids, it was more than just a house: it represented their childhood and what they had lost--not just materially speaking, but the loss of their mother and their father and then finally the house itself where they were all last a family together. The house as the primary setting for the story really sets the mood and tone of the book, as you imagine this large, imposing house that is not warm, and requires a staff to operate, yet is largly empty of love and life. The story was told in a calm and quiet way with a gentle cadence. While it is a sad story for the two siblings, ultimately, what you walk away with is the sense of the love they shared for each other well into their adult lives, which was beautiful. The kids grow to represent home to one another, regardless of any house they are occupying or not occupying. It was a beautifully written book-- I could not put it down.

Jan 10, 2021

Totally disappointed in this book. Story is very slow moving... Will probably not read another Ann Patchett book.

Jan 05, 2021

Maria recommended

Dec 28, 2020

I have not read Ann Patchett in a while. The last book was Commonwealth which was a disappointment. The Dutch House saddened and delighted me in many facets of the story. The evil second wife who steals the wealth of her second husband and robs his children of their inheritance remains a story throughout history. Men totally lose all sense of fairness in the face of a scheming woman. What a character resides in Mauve. A young girl with diabetes who handles the rearing of her brother and helping everyone when she needs the assistance herself. Ann Patchett delights the reader with her description of the setting and the characters. My only complaint is the absence of the list of characters. Many writers will supply this character listing and will draw a picture of the town or village. This book studies the relationships within a family and the minor characters within their orbit. The book focuses on the choice of a career such as becoming a doctor and the lack of ambition for this choice.

Dec 26, 2020

So far, in this list, what I would call an extraordinary book, and a must read.

JCLBetM Dec 17, 2020

It's one of those books where not much occurs - mostly normal life (though, of course, with quirks) - and yet, I was always interested in what happened next. Who knew following a brother and sister around through decades of their lives could be so captivating, especially when they seem to mostly sit in cars talking? All of the characters were expertly nuanced and the writing was always exactly what it should be (i.e., I never wished for more or less or something other than what it was). Definitely want to read more Ann Patchett now.

Dec 16, 2020

Great book club choice, endless discussion could ensue.

Dec 11, 2020

Great character development and dialogue. One of Patchett's strength - the dialogue of her characters feels natural for who they are based on their backgrounds and descriptions. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this novel. Bel Canto is my only other experience with Patchett, Dutch House is different in the sense that the time line is extended over decades rather than days. I was apprehensive about reading about disgruntled bouegoise kids still obsessed with their former home. But Patchett drew me in with descriptions, details, insights and plausibility of conflict and dialogue. I will be reading more Ann Patchett in the days and years ahead.

Dec 11, 2020

Loved it. Full, rich characters over a lifetime. Couldn't put it down.

Nov 30, 2020

Oh my gosh, I just didn't get it. It truly was an entire book about a house. I haven't ever had such deep attachments to inanimate objects. Perhaps that was my block to understanding this book.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Oct 14, 2020

"Do you think it's possible to ever see the past as it actually was?" ...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"

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

ArapahoeStaff26 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

ArapahoeStaff26 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

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top