A NovelBook - 2016
"Exquisite... Commonwealth is impossible to put down."
-- New York Times
#1 New York Times Bestseller | NBCC Award Finalist | New York Times Best Book of the Year | USA Today Best Book | TIME Magazine Top 10 Selection | Oprah Favorite Book of 2016 | New York Magazine Best Book of The Year
The acclaimed, bestselling author--winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize--tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families' lives.
One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly--thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.
Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.
When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.
Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.
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From Library Staff
My first Ann Patchett novel! At a baby's christening, one married man kisses one married woman and neither are married to each other - this ultimately breaks up their marriages and blends together two very different families. I knew I would love this even before I picked it up because I love a go... Read More »
LPL_TriciaK Apr 01, 2017
If you know anything about Ann Patchett's personal history, you will know that this novel is loosely based on her tumultuous and messy early life. She grew up in a large blended family - 6 children, 4 parents - and she lays bare their faults and shortcoming as well as their resilience and humor... Read More »
From the critics
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Franny gave her sister a tired smile. "Oh, my love," she said. "What do the only children do?"
"Half the things in this life I wish I could remember and the other half I wish I could forget."
"All the stories go with you, Franny thought, closing her eyes. All the things I didn’t listen to, won’t remember, never got right, wasn’t around for.
“Isn’t that what everyone wants, just for a moment to be unencumbered?
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