Ann Patchett, the New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder, returns with her 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.
“'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.”
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.
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. Filled with suspense, you may read it quickly to find out what happens, but what happens to Danny and Maeve will stay with you for a very long time.
It seems that some people are just natural born authors. American author, Ann Patchett, is one of those people. She was born in Los Angeles, California in 1963 to a police captain and a nurse, who divorced when Ann was a young girl. Her mother remarried and moved the family to Nashville, Tennessee in 1969.
Ann attended St Bernard Academy school for girls in Nashville, then attended Sarah Lawrence College, followed by the Iowa Writer's Workshop at University of Iowa and Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It was Provincetown where she wrote her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars, followed by Taft, The Magician's Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder, and Commonwealth. Three of her books are non-fiction......Truth and Beauty, What Now?, and This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Her first children's book came in 2019, Lambslide, and was beautifully illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. Her books have been translated into more than 30 languages.
After winning numerous literary awards and being on bestseller lists, Ann co-founded her own bookstore, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee with Karen Hayes. She currently lives in Nashville with her husband, Karl VanDevender, and their dog Sparky.