Author: Ann Patchett
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published: September 24, 2019
Book Description: 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.
Rating: 4 Stars
Book Review: This might be Ann Patchett’s best book. This was an utter masterpiece. This is literary fiction to it’s core as I would say a house is the main character of this book.
This book centers around The Dutch House, which is a famous house located in Elkins Park outside of Philadelphia (totally fictional) and the Conroy family. The story spans about 50 years and begins when the patriarch Cyril, a self-made man, buys this house for his wife and their small daughter. They have a son Danny who narrates the entire story. Cyril’s wife while she loved her family, never loved that house and leaves one day.
Cyril remarries after years and she happens to be conniving. When Cyril eventually dies, his wife kicks his kids out of the house leaving them with almost nothing. You spend many years watching these kids rebound, but still an obsession with the Dutch House.
This is simply just a lovely story. This story has a lot of hate but also a lot of forgiveness. The writing as always by Patchett is just perfection. I savored every word that she wrote and was sad when this one was over. So lucky to have read this book.