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The Dutch House: Longlisted for the Women's Prize 2020 (High/Low) Paperback – 20 July 2020

4.3 out of 5 stars 34,494 ratings

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About the Author

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.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bloomsbury Publishing (20 July 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1526627590
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1526627599
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 300 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 20.3 x 25.4 x 4.7 cm
  • Generic Name ‏ : ‎ Book
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 34,494 ratings

About the author

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Ann Patchett is the author of six novels, including Bel Canto, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction. She writes for the New York Times Magazine, Elle, GQ, the Financial Times, the Paris Review and Vogue. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
34,494 global ratings

Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 18 December 2020
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2.0 out of 5 stars A very problematic message
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 18 December 2020
I would have given the book just one star had it not been for the writing. The book has got a sublime poetic flow to it. It's as if there was a kind of silence attached to even the most climactic of scenes. It would have worked. For me, it would have worked so well had the story itself not been so problematic.

If you've read so far already, please don't leave without reading this: Do NOT have kids if you plan to abandon them. Not leave for sometime, not leave to pursue your dreams, not leave to achieve a higher goal, but Abandon. Abandon. Yes, that's what this mother did and for what? Because she wanted to help the poor? Helping the poor is absolutely fine but not at the cost of abandoning the kids that you CHOSE to have. There's a pretty thick line between leaving and abandoning and even a four-year-old can see that. And what's the excuse? That men do it, too?! That Buddha did it too? Well, guess what? Buddha was WRONG to have abandoned his kids (his RESPONSIBILITY) and it's high time we started to see it for what it was. The kids survived, sure, but even this world could have survived with one less religion for people to kill each other over. You abandon your responsibilities to teach people how to be good and responsible?! Way to go.

However, I'd have still liked the book a tad bit better had the protagonist stuck to his initial resolve against his mother for abandoning them. But no, he fell for the Buddha example and tried to forgive her. Not to mention how his dear sister didn't even try to understand him. She thought since it was so easy for HER to forgive her mother and move on, it should be the same for her brother as well. And if he did not forgive her, then HE was the one being immature. Sure, you abandon your kids, then come back more than forty years later with your sob story, expecting your kids to somehow miraculously forgive you. And if they don't, THEY are the ones being unfair and unreasonable, petty and begrudging.
I'm sorry but what was the author thinking? Why has she justified child abandonment? Not having kids is absolutely fine, even I don't plan on having any AT ALL. But choosing to have kids and then abandoning them? Writing a novel to justify it? How messed up is that?

Now, down to the nitty gritties, there was absolutely no character growth. And every character who wasn't Catholic or had a problem with Catholicism has been portrayed as evil, or at least less good than a Catholic. This disturbing religious undertone was really frustrating. No one cares about your Catholicism if you're someone who abandons their kids at an early age, that too for your own comfort and not that of your kids. Kids are people, not projects. I mean, why was Andrea so evil? Why wasn't she given a character arc? Why are the characters so black and white?

No, this book was a mistake. Not reading it, but writing it.
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28 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 28 September 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book so beautifully written, you’ll never want it to end
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 28 September 2020
I started reading this book early this year and yet, it took me months to finish reading it. This is not to say that the book was bad. Au contraire! I did not want the book to end.

I began enjoying Danny Conroy’s narration of his life and experiences starting from his childhood in the Dutch House till a time he learnt to deal with emotions he had locked away and ignored for most of his life.

Ann Patchett has a way with her words. With each syllable, she paints a picture so vivid that you find yourself transforming into this invisible entity standing afar and witnessing Danny and his sister Meave (the girl in the gorgeous portrait on the cover of the book) grow over a period of roughly five decades.

As for the plot, it all starts and ends at the Dutch House. If I were to really point to one antagonist, for me, it would have be the house; not Danny’s mother who abandoned her children at a ripe age to ‘help those in need’; not Andrea, his step-mother who banished Danny and Meave from the Dutch House after the death of their father; not his father Cyril, who bought this house for his wife but ended up driving her away; not Fluffy, his former nanny who was fired for beating Danny to a point he bled; nor Celeste, his wife who detested everything his beloved sister stood for. It has to be the house. Although only a portion of their lives is actually spent in the house, they wouldn’t be where they were if not for the house.

I was almost sad when I realized there were no pages left to turn. It will be a while before I can read another book. I’ll stop overselling this one and wait for you to read and let me know what you thought of it.
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Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 23 December 2020
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Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 12 October 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Close to Perfection
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 12 October 2020
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Ann Patchett is a terrific novelist. I loved the central character Maeve and this story is of siblings Danny and Maeve and The exquisite Dutch house. It is unputdownable and the story is so close to reality. A family story full of Care love and Bondage ❤️. It's a time travel story for me .. I recalled so many memories with my Granny's 🏠. The best message from Maeve is LEAVING PAST TO THE PAST and forgive and move on 😊. Hope you have read this and if you haven't go get this copy It was a pre order from @amazondotin at lowest price.

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Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 7 August 2020
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Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on 23 April 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Ralph Blumenau
3.0 out of 5 stars I did not find the book entirely credible
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 24 November 2019
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104 people found this helpful
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Titania78
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully crafted family story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 27 October 2019
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31 people found this helpful
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Lucille Grant
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional family saga
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 21 December 2019
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25 people found this helpful
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Hugh Cummins
3.0 out of 5 stars Over-praised.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 28 November 2019
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28 people found this helpful
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Teresa
3.0 out of 5 stars Am I missing something?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 15 June 2020
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18 people found this helpful
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