The Dutch House
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 brillian... read full description below.
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|Library of Congress
||Pennsylvania Pa - Fiction
||General & Literary Fiction
Description of this Book
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.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||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 -- Jojo Moyes Stunning -- India Knight * Sunday Times * Hugely entertaining and an unsettling joy to read -- Roddy Doyle * 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 * 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 * Patchett writes excellently and seemingly artlessly * Daily Mail * 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 -- Linda Grant * 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 -- Louise Erdrich 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 -- Elizabeth Day * 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 -- Esther Freud Beautiful -- Katie Roiphe * 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 * 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 -- Curtis Sittenfeld * 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 *
||Bertrams Star Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)
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.