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

4.26 (42,285 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

An unforgettably powerful new novel of the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go - from the Number One New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and Bel Canto

'The book of the autumn. The American author of Commonwealth (brilliant) and Bel Canto (even better) releases perhaps her finest novel yet' - Sunday Times

'The buzz around The Dutch House is totally justified. Her best yet, which is saying something' - John Boyne

"'Do you think it's possible to ever see the past as it actually was?' I asked my sister. We were sitting in her car, parked in front of the Dutch House in the broad daylight of early summer."

Danny Conroy grows up in the Dutch House, a lavish mansion. Though his father is distant and his mother is absent, Danny has his beloved sister Maeve: Maeve, with her wall of black hair, her wit, her brilliance. Life is coherent, played out under the watchful eyes of the house's former owners in the frames of their oil paintings.

Then one day their father brings Andrea home. Though they cannot know it, her arrival to the Dutch House sows the seed of the defining loss of Danny and Maeve's lives. The siblings 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 exile is that of their mother's: an absence more powerful than any presence they have known.

Told with Ann Patchett's inimitable blend of humour, rage and heartbreak, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale and story of a paradise lost; of the powerful bonds of place and time that magnetize and repel us for our whole lives.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 129 x 198mm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1526614979
  • 9781526614971
  • 52,332

Review Text

A wonderful hypnotic masterpiece of a novel. The best book I've read in years Rosamund Lupton
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Review quote

A wonderful hypnotic masterpiece of a novel. The best book I've read in years Ann Patchett writes novels that quietly and thoroughly devastate the reader - in a good way. Her new novel is no exception * Red * What a spectacular novel. A masterpiece, I'd say Wise and funny and unwraps the complexities of human beings with heartbreaking tenderness. I love this book Bliss The buzz around The Dutch House is totally justified. Her best yet, which is saying something If there's a better, more poignant or involving novel than The Dutch House published this year, I will be very, very surprised * Andrew Holgate * Praise for Commonwealth: 'Dazzling * Sunday Times * Patchett blends wisdom and humanity jointly with the icy forensic gaze of someone not afraid to expose the frailties of human behaviour ... Read it Patchett writes excellently and seemingly artlessly * Daily Mail * Stunning * Sunday Times * Hugely entertaining and an unsettling joy to read * Irish Times * An outstanding novel ... The opening is a show stopper ... Patchett is a pleasure to read: there is a no-fuss casualness to the prose that is only possible when a writer is in control of every word and she is master of her art * Observer * From the mesmerising first chapter to the final page, Ann Patchett's new novel is utterly brilliant. This domestic drama deals in loyalties, sibling rivalries, jealously and heartbreak in an effortlessly graceful style that makes for unputdownable reading * Sunday Express * The opening scene .... is a faultless set piece ... Her prose is equally powerful when she's evoking a 1970s summer in Virginia ... Patchett deftly summons up a simmering childhood anger and dangerously ricocheting energy * The Times * The book flows easily between narrators, constantly switching from past to present, and slowly revealing what happened that summer, allowing Patchett to play with memory and perspective to surprisingly moving effect ... Commonwealth is a book about relationships and the obligations they bring .. Poignant ... funny ... An engaging novel that draws you in with sharp observation, a gin-fuelled plot written in beautiful prose and convincing dialogue. You miss the characters once it's over * Evening Standard * She achieves the great novel of American domestic life with a spare hand and a demotic prose that seems to come from the mouths of her characters, even when they aren't speaking ... Her unshowy account of public and private stories addresses the great puzzle of what our lives are really made of ... This novel convinces me she's wiping the floor with her heftier competitors * Daily Telegraph * Commonwealth is full of heart, and is Patchett's most complex and emotionally suspenseful novel. She never hits a wrong note although she conjures with many deftly drawn characters. The opening chapter is one of the best party-scene seductions ever written She is one of those rare writers, like Anne Enright or Anne Tyler, who is able to convey poignancy and humour in the space of a single sentence * Irish Times * So clear and clean and at the top of her game ... It is just so masterfully done. The sweep of it and the subtlety of the ideas Beautiful * Observer * Gorgeously evocative writing and complex characters ... Patchett is a writer of exceptional talent, and this is one of her best yet * Good Housekeeping * A deft craftsman ... Patchett ultimately wins the reader over with her perceptive qualities, alluring characters and undertone of humour ... In Commonwealth, Patchett's nimble storytelling floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee * Literary Review * This delicate exploration of the ties that bind us never seems to lose focus * Stylist * An absorbing, brilliantly observed novel * Woman & Home * Rich and engrossing ... her observations about people and life are insightful; and her underlying tone is one of compassion and amusement ... Patchett also skilfully illustrates the way that seemingly minor, even arbitrary decisions can have long-lasting consequences and the way that we often fear the wrong things * New York Times * Delicious. From the moment a kiss at a christening ends up sparking the divide and re-merging of two families, I was drawn into the minutiae of the drama ... Patchett makes you feel like you've lived among it and have been subsumed into the newly drawn clan * Grazia *
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About Ann Patchett

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.
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Rating details

42,285 ratings
4.26 out of 5 stars
5 43% (18,387)
4 43% (18,010)
3 12% (4,895)
2 2% (748)
1 1% (245)
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