A Novel

Large Print - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"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"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper Luxe, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]
ISBN: 9780062566874
Branch Call Number: PATCH
Characteristics: 448 pages


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 06, 2021

Well, I love Ann Patchett's other work, but I got so bored by chapter 2 that I stopped reading this one. Perhaps I missed a great book, but she totally failed to motivate me to continue reading.

Apr 25, 2021

Interesting read but I was waiting for more - Too much detail but not enough substance. Good light read.

LCPL_Cathy Apr 12, 2021

With Commonwealth, Ann Patchett has created a novel with multi-dimensional characters that feel like people you know. This sprawling family saga demonstrates how life can turn on a dime and how family can bind us as well as tear us apart. I enjoyed the book.

Feb 02, 2021

I looked this book. And her writing style.

Dec 29, 2020

Even at the end, I kept having to remind myself which kids belonged to which parents.

Dec 26, 2020

Also extraordinary book and one of the best I have read.

Oct 09, 2019

An interesting story about the complications of extended families. The characters are interesting, the turns of lives are captivating. The last fifty and some pages are stretched.

Oct 03, 2019

Interesting details of child abuse and neglect by incompetent parents. Interesting chapter on a book written about the book :) fun :). Interesting details of what middle class in the US could afford in terms of children, houses, airfare etc. Other than that, it reads like a bunch of gossip, especially at the end, surface-deep and, in places, unpleasantly addictive.

Aug 26, 2019

Tea & Talk Book Club / November 2017

Jun 01, 2019

I enjoyed this book a lot. Ann Patchett knows what she is doing.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Oct 21, 2020

SkokieBiblioAdult2 thinks this title is suitable for 2 years and over


Add a Quote
ArapahoeMaryA 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?


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at the Library

To Top