First Impression Friday- The Dutch House

First Impression Friday is hosted by J.W. Martin.

First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther.

Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

44318414At 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.


It is Thursday when I am writing this post and I just started the audiobook of The Dutch House this morning. I am only two chapters in, but I could not wait to talk to you about this book. First off, if you are going to read it I HIGHLY suggest getting the audiobook. It is narratex by Tom Hanks!! His voice is incredible and I am loving having him read Ann Patchett’s words to me- it is a winning combination.

I am obviously not very far in to the story, but I am already connecting with Danny and Maeve. I have a younger brother and it is a special relationship that I do not often find in fiction. I have a feeling that I am going to be all the more affected by this story because of the strong bond I have with my brother.

Can you believe that this is my first Patchett novel? I can already tell that she writes the kind of books that I adore- lush, descriptive, historical, heart-wrenching. You know that feeling when you find a new favourite author? I think that might be happening here. It is even better because she has an extensive backlist! If you are a fan of Patchett’s work, which book should I pick up next? I have had my eye on Bel Canto for awhile now!


12 thoughts on “First Impression Friday- The Dutch House

  1. I am excited to read DH. Try Truth & Beauty (a memoir of sorts about a good friend of hers), or State of Wonder. T&B is one of my favorite books and both are better than Bel Canto.

  2. I finished The Dutch House at the beginning of October and oh my gosh, I adored it. I can’t imagine how fantastic it must be narrated by Tom Hanks! It was my first Patchett novel too but it definitely won’t be my last. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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