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The Dutch House

A Novel
Autor: Ann Patchett
Sprecher: Tom Hanks
Spieldauer: 9 Std. und 53 Min.
4.5 out of 5 stars (18 Bewertungen)

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Inhaltsangabe

Audiobook performed by Tom Hanks.

From the New York Times best-selling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder comes Ann Patchett’s most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go. The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love, and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves, and of who we really are.

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.

©2019 Ann Patchett (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

Kritikerstimmen

"Tom Hanks narrates this novel about Danny and Maeve, and their beloved childhood home, The Dutch House, with a restraint that admirably captures the writing's surface calm and buried tension.... Hanks takes his narrative cue from Danny, who tells the story in a mix of bemusement, wonder, and nostalgia. It's not a dramatic performance but is, instead, a sensitive and warm reading of a fine novel about love, loyalty, redemption, forgiveness, and what we will do to make the world the way we want it to be." (AudioFile Magazine)

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Painfully dull

I made it to the end of this stupefyingly boring story, which is definitely thanks to the narrator. Tom Hanks made the misery bearable with his pleasant voice and engaging performance.
That's about the only common ground I can find with the myriad rave reviews I read before purchasing this book.
Yes, in a sense it nails the way the everyday amounts to the story of a life, and yes, the siblings feel human and their relationship dynamics, the interplay of loyalty, love, guilt, codependence etc. between them, feel realistic.
But overall it was annoying drudgery, boring dysfunctionality with no transcendence, very little growth, and not one likeable or admirable or particularly interesting character. Perhaps this kind of stuckness is a pet peeve of mine, and I just dont enjoy people, real or fictional, who waste their lives on resentment and self pity and victimhood and never expand beyond their original stories. I felt very little connection to them.
Also, considering the amount of random details, people doing this and saying that and carrying plates around and what not, there was no sense of actual life. I waited for a point until the end.

It's the uneventful, uninspiring, uninteresting story of some dysfunctional people. It scares me a little that so many readers find connection to this.