The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Book– The Dutch House is the latest novel by Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and Commonwealth. The Dutch House follows siblings Danny and Maeve Conroy as they navigate a complicated childhood that includes a mysterious, absent mother, a distant but loving father, and a stereotypical evil stepmother straight out of a fairytale. At the center is the “Dutch House,” a beautiful, extravagant, old home where the siblings grew up. The house and the events that transpire reverberate with, and profoundly shape, the siblings’ adulthood.

This is my first Ann Patchett novel. I admire her confidence, which expresses itself in the controlled and well-structured narrative. The Dutch House is not action-packed, but builds its strength on the insights of family, memory, loss and the power of a place. Recommended for fans of contemporary and domestic fiction, The Dutch House is available for digital download, in Large and regular print, and audiobook, narrated by Tom Hanks!

3 thoughts on “The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

  1. I just finished listening to “The Dutch House”. I enjoyed the way this story explored how childhood experiences impact relationships and memories for a lifetime.
    I heard Ann Patchett at a conference in March 2020 – she explained how she met Tom Hanks in 2017 (when his book of short stories “Uncommon Type” was released). She gathered up the courage to call him to ask if he might be interested in narrating “The Dutch House”. Upon the announcement of the audiobook release, Patchett said, “Writing a novel is a solitary business, while an audiobook is a collaboration. Tom Hanks took ‘The Dutch House’ and gave it a layer of depth and nuance I never could have imaged. To say that I am honored by his extraordinary talent is an understatement.”
    I truly enjoyed this audiobook – it has risen into the top spot of books I’ve read this year. I’m thankful Patchett called Hanks — he lends a deeper humanity to Danny’s character that I don’t think I would have drawn from the pages of the book.
    This brings to mind another great audiobook, “The Lager Queens of Minnesota” by J. Ryan Stradal, my favorite read of 2019. It’s another story about siblings and how family dynamics can have lasting impact over a lifetime.

  2. I listened to the audiobook. I loved Tom Hanks’ narration. Ann Patchett is one of my favorite authors. The Dutch House is a treat to listen to.

  3. I did not listen to the audiobook, but now I am wishing I had! A memorable reading experience nonetheless. Ann Patchett has yet to disappoint me!

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