The Dutch House

A Novel
Narrated by: Tom Hanks
Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (35,628 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Audiobook performed by Tom Hanks.

New York Times best seller | A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick | A New York Times Book Review Notable Book | Time Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of 2019 | 2020 Audie finalist - audiobook of the year and best male narrator

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, The Washington Post; O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Vogue, Refinery29, and Buzzfeed 

Ann Patchett, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of Commonwealth, delivers her 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

Critic Reviews

"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)

Featured Article: The Best Celebrity Narrated Audiobooks for Storytelling by the Stars


It’s likely you have a favorite actor, someone you can’t wait to see in a new movie or television series. Many of your favorite performers are also acclaimed audiobook narrators. It’s always a delight to pick up a familiar story and find an unexpected famous friend in the narrator’s booth, especially when that celebrity has a spectacular talent for narration. We’ve gathered some of the 20 best celebrity audiobooks to get you started with this star-studded category.

Editor's Pick

This narrator = The best news of the season!
As editors at Audible we often can't get an early "read" on a new title coming out until we know who the narrator is, because—of course—that can really make or break the experience. So I was over the moon to hear that the newest novel by the brilliant Ann Patchett, (unorthodox opinion: The Magician's Assistant is my favorite of her works) would be performed by Tom Hanks, I knew I already had my top pick of the fall lined up. Having listened to the collection of short stories he penned a few years ago, I knew that Hanks would balance the honest with the sweet, blending levity with gravitas. And that balance is critical because The Dutch House, like many of Patchett's novels, delves into and wrenchingly describes the sensitive intricacies of a very singular family, serving up humor, cynicism, and immense pain in a way that is completely unique to the players at hand.
Emily C., Audible Editor

What listeners say about The Dutch House

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite Patchett

I waited a week after finishing this one to write a review. I wanted some distance to see how I felt about it after thinking about it. But I didn't think about it at all; making this a forgettable story. I have enjoyed several previous Ann Patchett novels but wouldn't put this in the same class as Bel Canto, Commonwealth or State of Wonder. I world rank it below Run. While I love Tom Hanks as an actor and think he melds into his characters to the point you forget it's Tom Hanks, the exact opposite is true here. You never, for a second, forget it's Tom Hanks. And he adds an odd snarky monotone to Maeve and Danny making them less likable than written.

99 people found this helpful

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Mixed reviews

This is my first Ann Patchett book. It was overall a good reading experience, but I expected more. The characters and the writing were great (except one thing I'll mention later) The beginning of the story hooked me and I wondered what the characters were going to strive for, what wonderful obstacles they were going to overcome to fulfill their goals. I was set up for a wonderful plot. I do have to say, I liked the narration. Tom Hanks did a wonderful job. As I read my way through the book I like Maeve and Danny and really all the characters I was supposed to like and disliked those I was supposed to dislike. I will say that I had hoped Danny would become a stronger character in many ways. He seems to get pushed into doing things he doesnt want to do and just kind of floats through a lot of the story. He does eventually get the career he wants, but because of how many decades the book covers, I never really connect with the success of it. About a third of the way into the story,, I thought the book was over. Everything seemed to be tied up and there was really no plot left. I continued to read (or listen, lol) because the writing was still very good but the characters had nothing to do but get older. There were areas where I still saw potential for the characters to have a goal and accomplish it, but nothing was ever put that way. It didnt allow the character to strive-overcome-and enjoy. Most things in the story just happened to the characters. They weren't the author of their stories. Danny's indifference,to most things, bothered me. I liked him, his love and dedication to his sister, but the just floated through circumstance and was indifferent to big things which was a huge character flaw especially within the main character. The story continued to lose direction as it went on. I struggled with "what is the author trying to convey, what is the message she wants to leave me with," and I never found the answer to my question. The writing was compelling and I read until the end, but there were times I was bored and many times I felt like I was reading an aimless account. The book could have ended a little after the half-way mark and might have made more sense. I I think there are many positive elements to this story. I dont want to take away from that. From other reviews, I can see I am mostly alone in my opinion, but I felt I needed to share my honest thoughts. I would read another book by this author because the writing is so good, but if all the stories fall flat like this one, I may only invest my time into one more. If less time had passed in the story, I think the author could have brought out more in the characters and maybe gave more of a direction to the last third of the book.

80 people found this helpful

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Kept waiting...

Very well written and of course the narrator’s voice made the book. It grabbed my interest at the beginning so I kept on waiting and waiting for something more to happen. But it never really did. I wanted this book to be so much more.

49 people found this helpful

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Tom Hanks Should Read Every Book

Turns out there is only one way to make a Patchett book even better - have Tom Hanks read it. Wonderful story, endearing in and of itself... made more alive with the mastery of Hanks’ delivery.

126 people found this helpful

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Magnificent

Tom Hanks’ narration takes this beautiful story to the next level. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to download next as this has spoiled me....

98 people found this helpful

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Amazing

I listened in one sitting. One of my favorite authors, narrated by one of the best living actors. How can you go wrong?

72 people found this helpful

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Easy listening

This is the perfect story for Tom Hank's voice. can not image anyone else doing it. Found this to be a well paced story with interesting people. Highly recommended.

77 people found this helpful

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Wonderful listen

The book was moving. The reading warm and comforting. Great novel. I’m going to read the novel now and simply enjoy it once again.

60 people found this helpful

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Great story, awesome narrator

Thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Very well written and a captivating story. The narrator, Tom Hanks, brought this story to life and kept my attention even through the slower moments.

59 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

I just spent a few days with Tom Hanks and he read me this great story. I always wanted a younger brother and now I wish he was it, or at least the character of Danny was it! This was an excellent story, one that I hated to see end.

70 people found this helpful