Enjoy millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more, with a free trial

Only $11.99/month after trial. Cancel anytime.

Commonwealth: A Novel
Commonwealth: A Novel
Commonwealth: A Novel
Audiobook10 hours

Commonwealth: A Novel

Written by Ann Patchett

Narrated by Hope Davis

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

3.5/5

()

About this audiobook

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.

LanguageEnglish
PublisherHarperAudio
Release dateSep 13, 2016
ISBN9780062561718
Commonwealth: A Novel
Author

Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett is the author of several novels, works of nonfiction, and children's books. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including the PEN/Faulkner, the Women's Prize in the U.K., and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her novel The Dutch House was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. TIME magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is the owner of Parnassus Books.

Reviews for Commonwealth

Rating: 3.3426323319027182 out of 5 stars
3.5/5

1,398 ratings125 reviews

What did you think?

Tap to rate

Review must be at least 10 words

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    A story of two broken families, the Keatings and the Cousins, and how one decision to crash a christening party results in broken marriages, fractured memories, and is about how families remember and judge themselves. Told in eliptical style, there are missing decades and out of order story telling. The first 32 pages set up the rest of the book. In many way's this could be read as several short stories glued together. The setting is California and Virginia.Reading more on past reviews adds more meaning to this story.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Spoiler Alert!!
    I am feeling somewhat let down by this novel. Bel Canto is a long time fave, and I have enjoyed many of Patchett's other novels, but there was always a character I loved and wanted to spend time with. In this case I felt nothing for any of the family members because I never got a full picture of who they were and why they did what they did. For me it would have worked better had Patchett focused on two or three of the family members and taken us thru their experiences with the family dynamics and events. Spending any time in Bert's head was a waste because I found him so shallow, same with Beverly. We are told about Bert's parents but given no insight as to why they are the way they are, act the way they do...Fix and Franny interested me more, but I did not get enough of a complete characterization for either of them. The novel has a great deal of "telling" rather than "showing".
    The jumps in time did not work for me here, they seemed random, and I felt I had missed so much important information. I really enjoyed the idea of hijacking someone's story and how that might affect family members, but I didn't feel the author made the most of this angle. Since it provided the novel's title, I expected more...
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Bert Cousins arrives uninvited to Franny Keating's christening party and ends up kissing her mother which starts a chain reaction in both his and her family that will resonate over four decades and entwine the fates of six children and two separate sets of parents and grandparents.When she is in her twenties, Franny has an affair with a Salingeresque author, Leon Posen. He mines the stories of her family and turns them into a best selling (and award winning) novel. Franny's childhood is now out of her control.Patchett tells this story with her usual deftness, combining humor and sorrow and creating characters the reader really care about This is a wonderful story of family acceptance and love.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Best book of 2016 so far.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    A somewhat quiet character study.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    I know this book was a best seller for quite a while, but I'm not sure why. It centers around two families fractured by divorce with six children between them. Some of the kids - and adults - are mentioned only briefly, and the story skips around in time making it somewhat confusing. It was OK, but not great.