To say I loved "Commonwealth" would be an understatement. I started it on a flight to Dallas, read through the entire flight, got to my hotel and went out to the pool to read more. I read until all the lights were turned off and the staff went home. I continued reading it in my room until midnight and when I couldn't stay awake any longer I went to sleep, woke up at six a.m. and finished it.
And then a week later I read it again.
Ann Patchett is a master storyteller. Her writing style made me feel like she was in the room with me, casually relaying what happened at the party last week. Her characters are flawed and lovable or lovable because they are flawed. And the story she weaves in "Commonwealth" so deftly had me laughing out loud on the plane at one point and crying a few pages later.
Here's the official book description. Make "Commonwealth" your summer book and read it soon.
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."