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Commonwealth (Bloomsbury Publishing) by Ann…
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Commonwealth (Bloomsbury Publishing) (edition 2017)

by Ann Patchett (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,6341883,462 (3.86)224
"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"-- "Commonwealth is the story of two broken families and the paths their lives take over the course of 40 years, through love and marriage, death and divorce, and a dark secret from childhood that lies underneath it all"--… (more)
Member:Mackoaf
Title:Commonwealth (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Authors:Ann Patchett (Author)
Info:Bloomsbury Paperbacks (2017), Edition: 1, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:None

Work Information

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

  1. 20
    The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney (Micheller7)
  2. 10
    After This by Alice McDermott (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These literate family sagas follow American Catholic families through the decades. Commonwealth portrays two families that break apart and come back together in new combinations, while the drama in After This stems from a changing world.… (more)
  3. 10
    A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (figsfromthistle)
  4. 01
    Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (LAKobow)
    LAKobow: Several families and the way their actions are intertwined.
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» See also 224 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 188 (next | show all)
I enjoy Patchett's writing style very much and thus enjoyed this story of a large blended family. I liked what I read and wished only for more POV from characters that didn't get a large spotlight but were still part of the family. ( )
  hmonkeyreads | Jan 25, 2024 |
Love Ann Patchett, but found this one too convoluted and confusing. Too many characters to keep straight. I finally just sort of let it wash over me, as it was clearly about a blended and complicated family, so I stopped trying to figure it out and tried to "watch" it, kind of like a blurry and complex film. There are so many brilliant things about it, though: the book within the book, the film of the family that sprang from the book, all the while the family is reading/watching with horror, that kind of clever inward-turning/outward-facing meta-commentary going on throughout. ( )
  fmclellan | Jan 23, 2024 |
My first Ann Patchett book and now I get why she's so popular. Really enjoyed this woven family tale ( )
  hellokirsti | Jan 3, 2024 |
This book had great potential and I was very hopeful that I would love it. It has great characters and colorful descriptions of places and situations. Yet, throughout the book I felt that something substantial was missing. After finishing all of the chapters and thinking back, I now believe that it is the story itself. There is no substance to the plot. It is a lengthy book for what it presents and with all that great potential at the beginning, I am left feeling disappointed... ( )
  BerrinSerdar | Dec 5, 2023 |
Second reading: this may be my Desert Island Discs book. It is certainly one of my favorite books of all time.

I was unprepared for how great this story was going to be, for how much I was going to love it. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 188 (next | show all)
...spans over 50 years, and the stories of how these children move uncertainly into adulthood — and how their parents adjust to the misfortunes that accrue — are painfully beautiful. (I went from bristling to weeping at 3 a.m.) Escaping the cage of your childhood can be one of the sublime miracles of growing up, though it sometimes requires more tools than the average jailbreak.
added by charl08 | editNew York Times
 
a compelling novel, full of characters who ring true.
added by charl08 | editFinancial Times
 
Patchett sucker-punches you, but leaves you feeling you had it coming – whether for underestimating her, or her characters, or humanity, is hard to say.

In particular, Commonwealth is one of the most discerning novels about siblings I can recall. One pair of stepsiblings share an equivocal bond: “In that sense the two of them had been a team, albeit a team neither one of them wanted to be on.”
added by charl08 | editThe Guardian (UK)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patchett, Annprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
AudioBooks, Whole StoryPublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bouvard, LaurenceNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, HopeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frappat, HélèneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
/
Dedication
to Mike Glasscock
First words
The christening party took a turn when Albert Cousins arrived with gin.
Quotations
Half the things in this life I wish I could remember and the other half I wish I could forget.
The priest, whose mind was wandering like the Jews in the desert, tried to focus again on his sermon
You could see just a trace of the daughter there, the way she held her shoulders back, the length of her neck. It was a crime what time did to women.
When the six of them were together they looked more like a day camp than a family, random children dropped off on the same curb.
Caroline was a lot angrier than the rest of them. It was there in her voice all the time. Then again, it could have been that Cal was the angriest and his anger just manifested itself in different ways.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"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"-- "Commonwealth is the story of two broken families and the paths their lives take over the course of 40 years, through love and marriage, death and divorce, and a dark secret from childhood that lies underneath it all"--

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Book description
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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