Author: Ann Patchett
Pub Date: September 13th, 2016
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
View on Goodreads
Buy on Book Depository | Wordery
Synopis from Goodreads:
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 was quite a mesmerising read. The first chapter is taking you to the world that is like ours, but because of some nearly magical circumstances, feels different. The first chapter is unique and gives a great foundation for a story of two families that is unusual and common at the same time.
The book in a perfect flow moves between characters and time to present us a story of two families across fifty or so years. Every character presents us with their own personal story, but at the same time gives a look at the bigger picture, at the story of Keating and Cousins families. The story is slow, and at points, I was a bit confused and bored. It changed only after I read more than the half of the book when we learn more about Franny and her affair with writer Leon Posen. Those chapters really interested me and elevated the whole story.
Ann Patchett has a unique style. The story is slow, and most of the major events that move the plot are told as a retrospect. We never witness the events, we learn them through conversations and actions of characters after it all happened. I am really amazed how well transitions between different characters and their stories were made, excellent job here.
Overall, I enjoyed the book but I don’t think it will stay with me for a long time. For me, it was a story to enjoy and indulge and then forget. I don’t mind, I spend a great time with this book.