A Novel

Large Print - 2016
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"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"--
Published: New York, NY :, HarperLuxe, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,, [2016]
Edition: Large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780062566874
Branch Call Number: F PAT
Characteristics: 448 pages (large print) ;,23 cm.
Alternative Title: Common wealth


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Aug 02, 2017

A well written story of 2 families and how they merge and interconnect over the years. Has an unexpected twists and gradually reveals the dynamics of all.

Jul 27, 2017

Although I needed to keep track of characters on a scrap of paper stuck in the book, I let myself fall into the story, trusting, knowing I was in Patchett’s masterful hands. (Loved her Bel Canto.) This story is all about character as they explore the drama of chaotic, ordinary life. The plot is a series of vignettes strung together through their differing perspectives, and is partly a metafiction when the family reads the book (called Commonwealth) written about their own family that is made into a movie. Gluing it altogether is Patchett’s clever insight and subtle wit into the family’s “commonwealth” – their “general good.”

Jul 14, 2017

Okay but not great. "Bel Canto" it isn't. More of yet another portrait of another dysfunctional family although this one told by a massively talented author.

Jul 05, 2017

Patchett continues to pull me into her stories. As I was immersed in the story of three families seemingly made dysfunctional by the affair and then subsequent marriage of a husband and wife, I saw how the adults’ behavior helped shape their children’s adulthood. I enjoy character-driven stories particularly when the author is adept at weaving complicated characters into the book.

Apr 24, 2017

No one else writes like she does. She weaves multiple characters into one plot, truly impressive!

Apr 11, 2017

Decent read. My favourite Ann Patchett book of all time is Bel Canto, so I compare all her subsequent work to that, which isn't really fair. That being said, this is a very well-written book as one would expect and has excellent character development. I feel the ending was a bit weak as I was hoping for a bit more drama but in general I enjoyed it.

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. The writing is excellent, and though it's definitely character-based fiction, you'll be swept along by the story. Highly recommended for readers who like reading about family dynamics, the writing life, and self-discovery.

Mar 21, 2017

This book is phenomenal. I felt empathy for all the characters at the various stages in their lives. Did not want to put down!

Mar 03, 2017

A master story-teller she is, transcends ordinary to magical.
It's not flawless, e,g. character's subconscious flashbacks have mixed effects on me, from elucidating, puzzling (or suspenseful at its best), to incongruous at its worst.
Interweaving of different time periods and character interactions seems effortless, but never lose appeal, from the beginning through the end - the end of life of two "virtuous"(Teresa and Fix) while two "evil"(Bert and Beverly) are still well.
Franny is the crux of two families, and I'm intrigued (positive or negative) by author's mastermind to set up her affair with a much older literatus.
I'm looking forward to Ann Pachett's lecture (April, mfa)!

Feb 26, 2017

loved this family saga.

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AL_MARYA Jan 18, 2017

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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