A masterpiece from the Orange Prize-winning, New York Times number one bestselling author of Commonwealth and Bel Canto: a story of love, family, sacrifice, and the power of place
Danny Conroy grows up in the Dutch House, a lavish folly in small-town Pennsylvania taken on by his property developer father. Though his father is distant and his mother is absent, Danny has his beloved sister Maeve: Maeve, with her wall of black hair, her delicacy, her brilliance. Life is comfortable and coherent, played out under the watchful eyes of the house's former owners in the frames of their oil paintings, or under the cover of the draperies around the window seat in Maeve's room.
Then one day their father brings Andrea home: Andrea, small and neat, a dark hat no bigger than a saucer pinned over a twist of her fair hair. Though they cannot know it, Andrea's advent to the Dutch House sows the seed of the defining loss of Danny and Maeve's lives. Her arrival will exact a banishment: a banishment whose reverberations will echo for the rest of their lives.
For all that the world is open to him, for all that he can accumulate, for all that life is full, Danny and his sister 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 enforced exile is that of their mother's self-imposed one: an absence more powerful than any presence they have known.
Told with Ann Patchett's inimitable blend of wit and heartbreak, The Dutch House is a story of family, betrayal, love, responsibility and sacrifice; of the powerful bonds of place and time that magnetize and repel us for our whole lives, and the lives of those who survive us.
A wonderful hypnotic masterpiece of a novel. The best book I've read in years -- Rosamund Lupton
The Dutch House is a novel that assures Patchett, alongside John Irving and Anne Tyler, a place as one of the foremost chroniclers of the burdens of emotional inventory and its central place in American lives -- Catherine Taylor * Financial Times *
Indelibly poignant in its long unspooling perspective on family life, The Dutch House brilliantly captures how time undoes all certainties * Observer *
An intimate and transporting novel ... The Dutch House is a novel brimming with pain and tenderness in which Patchett's gifts as a storyteller are on full display ... A searching, exquisitely wrenching novel about family, sacrifice and obsession * Sunday Times *
One of the most celebrated novelists of our times ... But it is her new book, widely billed a one of this autumn's best new reads, where she truly comes into her own * Sunday Times Magazine *
Impeccably fine ... A thoughtful, quietly profound book * i paper *
The Dutch House offers ... A simultaneous awareness of human fragility and human resilience * Daily Telegraph *
She uses her signature blend of wry humour, rage and regret in a tale of siblings who cannot escape the shadow of their childhood home * i *
Masterly * The Times *
An outstanding novel, wryly funny, heart-breakingly sad and entirely engrossing -- Eithne Farry * S Magazine *
We're calling it now: The Dutch House will be the book of the autumn ... Her finest novel yet * Sunday Times *
Few novelists today combine such a forensic eye with an acute and humane understanding of human nature. I would read Ann Patchett's shopping list -- Jojo Moyes
Patchett is a master at pacing and detail ... The question of what makes a home pervades this gripping book -- Erica Wagner * New Statesman *
She rivals Tyler for emotional acuity -- Anthony Cummins * Metro *
Ann Patchett writes novels that quietly and thoroughly devastate the reader - in a good way. Her new novel is no exception * Red *
Patchett well deserves her reputation for compelling novels, and The Dutch House is her most enthralling yet * Vogue *
What a spectacular novel. A masterpiece, I'd say -- Cathy Rentzenbrink
Wise and funny and unwraps the complexities of human beings with heartbreaking tenderness. I love this book -- Renee Knight
Bliss -- Nigella Lawson
The buzz around The Dutch House is totally justified. Her best yet, which is saying something -- John Boyne
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 *
A dark modern fairy tale, a delicately woven portrait of a family in flux * Evening Standard *
The plot is gentle but firm while Patchett's prose dazzles with detail and nuance, spinning a story that tucks itself inside your heart * i paper *
Wonderfully astute ... Patchett's books ... have a sly comic undertow -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday *
A marvellously romantic and evocative novel about the nostalgic pull of a lost home ... Beautifully written and often tender ... That rare thing: a novel which reveals greater riches on a second reading -- Cressida Connolly * Spectator *