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The Dutch House

af Ann Patchett

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
4,6252762,474 (4.08)314
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 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 unshakable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.… (mere)
Nyligt tilføjet afIrina79, yambar, Donnela, kdegour23, pooteeweet28, MSTLibrary, edramey, privat bibliotek
  1. 31
    Stillidsen af Donna Tartt (shaunie)
    shaunie: The Dutch House is in some ways a slimmed down, more enjoyable Goldfinch.
  2. 07
    Stjernestøv af Neil Gaiman (Sandwich76)
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» Se også 314 omtaler

Engelsk (268)  Hollandsk (1)  Spansk (1)  Tysk (1)  Alle sprog (271)
Viser 1-5 af 271 (næste | vis alle)
Phenomenal! ( )
  kdegour23 | May 29, 2024 |
Hmmm several of my fav readers adored this novel so I'm in the minority in my lackadaisical response. Was it the house as a character, the nonexistent parental affections, or just uninteresting characters? Danny bored me with his indecision and failure to assert his passions. I might have preferred a book featuring Fluffy's story.
Tempted to give up midway, I continued because of Dani's review, and the suspense did pick up a bit with Maeve's illness. On the whole I found it mundane and ordinary without a treasured sentence for my commonplace collection. I prefer Patchett's nonfiction or the exotic settings and unique characters of her earlier novels.
( )
  featherbooks | May 7, 2024 |
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

BIBLIOGRAPHIC DETAILS:
-Print: COPYRIGHT ©: September 24, 2019; ISBN 978-0062963673; PUBLISHER: Harper; First Edition; PAGES: 352; UNABRIDGED (Hardcover Info from Amazon)
-Digital: COPYRIGHT ©: September 24, 2019; PUBLISHER: Harper; ASIN: B07PRXT94R; PAGES: 352; UNABRIDGED (Kindle Info from Amazon)
*Audio: COPYRIGHT ©: September 23, 2019; PUBLISHER: HarperAudio; DURATION: 10 hours (approx.); Unabridged; (Audiobook Info from Libby app version)
-Feature Film or tv: No.

SERIES: No

MAIN CHARACTERS: (Not comprehensive)
Danny Conroy– First person protagonist
Maeve Conroy – Danny’s sister
Andrea Smith – Danny’s father’s girlfriend
Norma Smith – Andrea’s oldest daughter
Bright – Andrea’s youngest daughter
Cyril Conroy – Danny’s father
Elna Conroy – Danny’s mother
Sandy – Housekeeper
Joocelyn - Sandy’s sister, the cook
Fiona (Fluffy) – Former Irish nanny
Celeste – Danny’s love interest

SUMMARY/ EVALUATION:
-SELECTED. This year’s (2024) Los Angeles Times Festival of Books had a panel about audiobooks that Don and I got tickets for and then forgot to go when the day arrived. This caused me to study the description of the event closer, where I read that a producer at HarperAudio was one of the presenters. This book and another, also by Ann Patchett, was mentioned. When I read that Tom Hanks was the narrator, I figured it would have to be at least decent, so we borrowed it with the Libby library app from LAPL.
-ABOUT: Danny Conroy lives in a large house in Pennsylvania, called the Dutch House for its architecture and the imposing portraits in the drawing room of Mr. and Mrs. Vanhoebeek, the home’s former owners. The house is so central to the plot, that it’s like one of the characters.
-OVERALL OPINION: It starts out a bit slow—nothing grabbed at me and it was a long time before it felt like something was “happening”, but as the story went on it grew on me, and I found it recommendable.

AUTHOR:
Ann Patchett:
(From inside the eBook)
“Ann Patchett is the author of eight novels and three works of nonfiction. She is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, England’s Orange Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year, and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. 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, and their dog, Sparky. annpatchett.com”

NARRATORS:
Tom Hanks
(Excerpt from Wikipedia)
“Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker. Known for both his comedic and dramatic roles, he is one of the most popular and recognizable film stars worldwide, and is regarded as an American cultural icon.[2] Hanks's films have grossed more than $4.9 billion in North America and more than $9.96 billion worldwide,[3] making him the fourth-highest-grossing actor in North America.[4] He has received numerous honors including the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2002, the Kennedy Center Honor in 2014, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honor both in 2016,[5][6] as well as the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2020.[7]”

GENRE:
Literary fiction; Historical fiction

TIME FRAME:
1950’s-1970’s

LOCATION:
Dutch House in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; New York

SUBJECTS:
Family, Residence, Home, Nostalgia, Siblings, Step-mothers

DEDICATION:
“This book is for Patrick Ryan.”

SAMPLE QUOTATION:
Excerpt from Chapter 1:
The first time our father brought Andrea to the Dutch House, Sandy, our housekeeper, came to my sister’s room and told us to come downstairs. “Your father has a friend he wants you to meet,” she said.
“Is it a work friend?” Maeve asked. She was older and so had a more complex understanding of friendship.
Sandy considered the question. “I’d say not. Where’s your brother?”
“Window seat,” Maeve said.
Sandy had to pull the draperies back to find me. “Why do you have to close the drapes?”
I was reading. “Privacy,” I said, though at eight I had no notion of privacy. I liked the word, and I liked the boxed-in feel the draperies gave when they were closed.
As for the visitor, it was a mystery. Our father didn’t have friends, at least not the kind who came to the house late on a Saturday afternoon. I left my secret spot and went to the top of the stairs to lie down on the rug that covered the landing. I knew from experience I could see into the drawing room by looking between the newel post and first baluster if I was on the floor. There was our father in front of the fireplace with a woman, and from what I could tell they were studying the portraits of Mr. and Mrs. VanHoebeek. I got up and went back to my sister’s room to make my report.
“It’s a woman,” I said to Maeve. Sandy would have known this already.
Sandy asked me if I’d brushed my teeth, by which she meant had I brushed them that morning. No one brushed their teeth at four o’clock in the afternoon. Sandy had to do everything herself because Jocelyn had Saturdays off. Sandy would have laid the fire and answered the door and offered drinks and, on top of all of that, was now responsible for my teeth. Sandy was off on Mondays. Sandy and Jocelyn were both off on Sundays because my father didn’t think people should be made to work on Sundays.
“I did,” I said, because I probably had.
“Do it again,” she said. “And brush your hair.”
The last part she meant for my sister, whose hair was long and black and as thick as ten horse tails tied together. No amount of brushing ever made it look brushed.
Once we were deemed presentable, Maeve and I went downstairs and stood beneath the wide archway of the foyer, watching our father and Andrea watch the VanHoebeeks. They didn’t notice us, or they didn’t acknowledge us—hard to say—and so we waited. Maeve and I knew how to be quiet in the house, a habit born of trying not to irritate our father, though it irritated him more when he felt we were sneaking up on him. He was wearing his blue suit. He never wore a suit on Saturdays. For the first time I could see that his hair was starting to gray in the back. Standing next to Andrea, he looked even taller than he was.
“It must be a comfort, having them with you,” Andrea said to him, not of his children but of his paintings. Mr. and Mrs. VanHoebeek, who had no first names that I had ever heard, were old in their portraits but not entirely ancient. They both dressed in black and stood with an erect formality that spoke of another time. Even in their separate frames they were so together, so married, I always thought it must have been one large painting that someone cut in half. Andrea’s head tilted back to study those four cunning eyes that appeared to follow a boy with disapproval no matter which of the sofas he chose to sit on. Maeve, silent, stuck her finger in between my ribs to make me yelp but I held on to myself. We had not yet been introduced to Andrea, who, from the back, looked small and neat in her belted dress, a dark hat no bigger than a saucer pinned over a twist of pale hair. Having been schooled by nuns, I knew better than to embarrass a guest by laughing. Andrea would have had no way of knowing that the people in the paintings had come with the house, that everything in the house had come with the house.
The drawing-room VanHoebeeks were the show-stoppers, life-sized documentation of people worn by time, their stern and unlovely faces rendered with Dutch exactitude and a distinctly Dutch understanding of light, but there were dozens of other lesser portraits on every floor—their children in the hallways, their ancestors in the bedrooms, the unnamed people they’d admired scattered throughout. There was also one portrait of Maeve when she was ten, and while it wasn’t nearly as big as the paintings of the VanHoebeeks, it was every bit as good. My father had brought in a famous artist from Chicago on the train. As the story goes, he was supposed to paint our mother, but our mother, who hadn’t been told that the painter was coming to stay in our house for two weeks, refused to sit, and so he painted Maeve instead. When the portrait was finished and framed, my father hung it in the drawing room right across from the VanHoebeeks. Maeve liked to say that was where she learned to stare people down.
“Danny,” my father said when finally he turned, looking like he expected us to be exactly where we were. “Come say hello to Mrs. Smith.”
I will always believe that Andrea’s face fell for an instant when she looked at Maeve and me. Even if my father hadn’t mentioned his children, she would have known he had them. Everyone in Elkins Park knew what went on in the Dutch House. Maybe she thought we would stay upstairs. She’d come to see the house, after all, not the children. Or maybe the look on Andrea’s face was just for Maeve, who, at fifteen and in her tennis shoes, was already a head taller than Andrea in her heels. Maeve had been inclined to slouch when it first became apparent she was going to be taller than all the other girls in her class and most of the boys, and our father was relentless in his correction of her posture. Head-up-shoulders-back might as well have been her name. For years he thumped her between the shoulder blades with the flat of his palm whenever he passed her in a room, the unintended consequence of which was that Maeve now stood like a soldier in the queen’s court, or like the queen herself. Even I could see how she might have been intimidating: her height, the shining black wall of hair, the way she would lower her eyes to look at a person rather than bend her neck. But at eight I was still comfortably smaller than the woman our father would later marry. I held out my hand to shake her little hand and said my name, then Maeve did the same. Though the story will be remembered that Maeve and Andrea were at odds right from the start, that wasn’t true. Maeve was perfectly fair and polite when they met, and she remained fair and polite until doing so was no longer possible.”

RATING:.
4

STARTED READING – FINISHED READING
4-20-2024 to 4-26-2024 ( )
  TraSea | May 3, 2024 |
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 unshakable 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. ( )
  jepeters333 | Apr 21, 2024 |
I read this book readily, and found it a page-turner. But I can't join the huge fan base it seems to have acquired. The story of two siblings abandoned by their mother, and whose thoroughly unpaternal father eventually marries a Wicked Stepmother describes the incredibly strong bond that brother and sister share persists throughout their lives, often at the expense of other relationships. In fact these are the only two characters whom we come to know well. The story is narrated by the younger brother Danny, who dwells on his relationship with his older sister Maeve, and to a lesser extent on his father, but never on, for instance his wife. He and his sister are both fixated on the house - the Dutch house of the title which their father bought for their mother and which she detested so much she left the marriage and her children. Danny's story encompasses the next forty or fifty years of his life, and towards the end, his mother comes to claim her part in the family narrative.

It's a story of mistaken choices: that of Danny's mother: of his sister who doesn't realise her academic potential; of Danny who chooses not to become a doctor despite long years of study to become one; of Celeste, his wife, who wanted to be a doctor's wife. In the end, this seems to be a story of lives stunted by missed opportunities. It's not a book that will make it onto my To-Read-Again list.

Addendum, written a fortnight later. We're discussing this book at Book Group tonight. I had to come back to read my review, because I couldn't remember the first thing about the book: not the plot, not the characters, nothing. I think that tells me something .... ( )
  Margaret09 | Apr 15, 2024 |
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (9 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Patchett, Annprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Bilardello, RobinOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Frappat, HélèneTraductionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Hanks, TomFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Metsch, FritzDesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Saterstrom, NoahOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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This book is for Patrick Ryan
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The first time our father brought Andrea to the Dutch House, Sandy, our housekeeper, came to my sister's room and told us to come downstairs.
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There are a few times in life when you leap up and the past that you'd been standing on falls away behind you, and the future you mean to land on is not yet in place, and for a moment you're suspended, knowing nothing and no one, not even yourself.
Sandy and Jocelyn served champagne at the reception, wearing matching black uniforms with white collars and cuffs that Andrea had bought for the occasion. “We look like matrons at a women's penitentiary,” Jocelyn said, holding up her wrists.
The only way to really understand what money means is to have been poor... (p. 19)
But we overlay the present onto the past. We look back trough the lens of what we know now, so we're not seeing it as the people we were, we're seeing it as the people we are, and that means the past has been radically altered. (pp. 44-45)
The point, I wanted to say, was that we shouldn't still be driving to the Dutch House, and the more we kept up with our hate, the more we were forever doomed to live out our lives in a parked car on VanHoebeek Street. (p. 73)
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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 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 unshakable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

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