Select Page


Ann Patchett’s most powerful novel to date comes from the best-selling New York Times author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder: a richly moving story exploring the indelible bond between two siblings, their childhood home, and a past that won’t let them go. The Dutch House is the story of a lost paradise, a tour de force that digs deep into history, romance, and redemption problems, how we want to see ourselves, and who we really are.

Cyril Conroy blends luck and a single canny gamble to start a huge real estate empire at the end of the Second World War, propelling his family from poverty to huge wealth. Buying the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside Philadelphia, is his first order of business. The house sets in motion the undoing of everybody he loves as a surprise to his family.

Cyril’s son Danny tells the story, as he and his older sister, the beautifully acerbian and self-assured Maeve, are expelled from their stepmother’s house where they grew up. The two affluent siblings are thrown back into the misery from which their parents have fled and discover that they only have to count on each other. It is this unwavering bond between them that saves both their lives and thwarts their future.

The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who are unable to conquer their past over the span of five decades. Despite all outward signs of success, when they are together, Danny and Maeve are only really comfortable. We return to the well-worn tale of what we lost with laughter and anger throughout their lives. But the friendship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested when they are forced to confront the people who left them behind.