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.
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by Ann Patchett
by Anita Shreve
by Michael Ondaatje
by Ann Burton
by Ann Bausum
by Ann Lethbridge
by Ann Tatlock
by Ann Beattie
by Ann Rinaldi
by Ann Christopher
"Hope Davis is an outstanding narrator, and many will enjoy her interpretation of Ann Patchett's expansive new novel, based on her own life. An affair followed by divorce divides two families, and the repercussions stretch over several decades, linking the two sets of children in a common tragedy. The novel rests heavily on narration, and on different character perspectives--a strategy wonderfully conceived and executed by Patchett, who depicts key events in retrospect and at a distance, in chapters assigned to different decades, different sets of characters, and different sides of the country. Dialogue scenes are essential, as well, and here Davis might have done better to maintain a consistent narrative voice, rather than trying to represent individual character voices, which prove of uneven quality. Regardless, Patchett is, as always, a surprising and resourceful storyteller. D.A.W. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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