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Commonwealth

Commonwealth 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 t

  • Title: Commonwealth
  • Author: Ann Patchett
  • ISBN: 9780062491794
  • Page: 441
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 thOne 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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    About Author

    1. Ann Patchett says:
      Patchett was born in Los Angeles, California Her mother is the novelist Jeanne Ray.She moved to Nashville, Tennessee when she was six, where she continues to live Patchett said she loves her home in Nashville with her doctor husband and dog If asked if she could go any place, that place would always be home Home is e stable window that opens out into the imagination Patchett attended high school at St Bernard Academy, a private, non parochial Catholic school for girls run by the Sisters of Mercy Following graduation, she attended Sarah Lawrence College and took fiction writing classes with Allan Gurganus, Russell Banks, and Grace Paley She later attended the Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she met longtime friend Elizabeth McCracken It was also there that she wrote her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars.In 2010, when she found that her hometown of Nashville no longer had a good book store, she co founded Parnassus Books with Karen Hayes the store opened in November 2011 In 2012, Patchett was on the Time 100 list of most influential people in the world by TIME magazine.

    Comment 681 on “Commonwealth

    1. Elyse says:
      Wow.I have spent hours thinking about this book The characters are deep in my mind There will be NO SPOILERS in my review NONE If you need a little information to know weather you want to risk reading an Ann Patchett book, which I clearly do not understandlol,the blurb gives enough details about this story I m only going to spit out random thoughts a discussion group would be enriching I d love to be part of I wasn t 100% crazy about every scene every minute of this novelt overall I have to give [...]

    2. Will Byrnes says:
      When Bert Cousins saw Beverly Keating it was love at first sight Never mind that they met at the christening party for her second child Never mind that Bert had a wife and several progeny of his own He wanted this incredibly beautiful woman This was the start of his life It was also the end of two marriages, beginning a ripple that would continue spreading its impact over the next half century.Jump all those fifty years, or less Beverly s ex, Fix Keating, the one she had left for Bert, is battl [...]

    3. Lindsay says:
      1 star After reading 50% of this book, I m going to stop I know this book has fantastic reviews and I respect that, but this is just not for me I was waiting for something to happen to pique my interest and it just didn t by the halfway point The main problem for me is that I am a mother of young children which makes me overly sensitive toward these innocent kids I had a hard time with all of the child neglect and poor parenting decisions in this book I had a VERY hard time stomaching the Benadr [...]

    4. Debbie says:
      3.88, who do I appreciate I ve been putting off writing this review because I ve been hoping that as time goes on, I ll sit up and chirp instead of sit down and burp But, alas, I am not chirping The song is or less forgotten, so I can t in good conscience give this a wowsy 4 stars It s like a 3.88, who do I appreciate, which I will round up to 4 because, well, ultimately I do appreciate Ann Patchett I m messed up when it comes to this writer I insanely loved State of Wonder declaring it an all [...]

    5. Roxane says:
      I loved this book Gorgeously written, as is always the case with Ann Patchett There is an ambitious narrative structure that, at times, gets away from the writer, but still, this is so so good.

    6. Paromjit says:
      This is a moving novel about the blended modern family inspired by Ann Patchett s own personal family history In the early 1960s, the married Bert Cousins is a deputy DA, out of sorts with his lot in life and family, and looking for something He rolls up uninvited to Franny Keating s christening party, and oiled by alcohol, falls in love with and kisses the beautiful Beverly Keating This leads to the disintegration of the two respective families and a catalogue of repercussions down the years I [...]

    7. Angela M says:
      Life is messy a lot of the time and no matter how much people love their families, I think we have to admit that we ve all experienced some of the messiness that happens in life The book opens with a christening party with lots of alcohol and you can t help but think by the end how that first bottle of gin changed so many lives While these are very different stories by Ann Patchett, the party scene with the house full of people reminded me just a little of the house full of people in Bel Canto a [...]

    8. Jen says:
      So, this is what happens when one too many gin and orange juices flow At a baptism Not the typical kind The fun kind One with lots of friends and family and somehow booze gets into the mix and what started off as a ritual turned into a party then spice in some infidelity and the wheels are put into motion for a family life detour.This is a story about families their dysfunction, destruction, and loyalty Truths are exposed after the publication of a novel that is loosely based on the 2 families I [...]

    9. Diane says:
      I loved this book so much I read it twice in three months.Ann Patchett is one of my veryveryvery favorite modern writers, and I was so excited when Commonwealth was released that I dropped everything else I was reading to begin it Later I had the good fortune to meet Patchett at a book reading in my city, and I gushed about how much I loved her work She was gracious, smart, witty and kind, and my writer crush was complete.As for Commonwealth, I treasured this story of a big, sprawling family wit [...]

    10. Annet says:
      Well, I simply loved this book 4.5 going on 5 One of the highlights in 2016 Wonderful storytelling about two families getting intertwined by changed marriages, affected by a family tragedy that hit them all in some way The story is written going to and fro in time, and we follow several family members in their personal lives at some point in time It s a story full of emotion, tragedy, loveBeautiful heartfelt and highly recommended Thanks to all friends who brought me to this book Note, and when [...]

    11. Diane S ☔ says:
      4 Early 1960, a christening party for baby Franny, where a spark will be ignited that will set up a chain of events that will echo down through the decades Four adults, six children will be affected, and we will follow them as they try to maneuver through the many difficulties and tragedies fate will throw at them The six children from the blended families will form, in the summers they spend together, a little tribe of their own and as a mother the things they got up to, with little adult super [...]

    12. Dianne says:
      I am afraid I am going to be the outlier on this one I wanted to love it I was so sure I would love it that I purchased the hardcover copy to cherish, which I rarely do I adore Ann Patchett I just could not connect with this family drama or any of the characters I can t fault her writing or the story or how it was laid out it just was not compelling to me I liked it in a very mild way, but I am not sure I ll remember much about it in a few months.I m sorry, fellow Patchett lovers Not my favorite [...]

    13. Larry H says:
      I d rate this 4.5 stars The christening party took a turn when Albert Cousins arrived with gin How can you resist a novel that starts like that Bert Cousins decision to bring a bottle of gin to a christening party for Fix and Beverly Keating s infant daughter Franny, a party to which he wasn t even invited, is much than a social faux pas Showing up at that party makes Bert realize he wants out of his life than his job as a deputy DA, and his wife and three kids with one on the way can offer h [...]

    14. James says:
      4 stars to Ann Patchett s Commonwealth I chose this book because it was about drama and relationships within a complex family, as it seemed similar the last book I had written, and it was written in a way that I hoped would align with my favorite styles from multiple character view points but with a focus via a single character It did not disappoint and I am glad I read the book, but I don t think it was in my top favorite s list.StoryThe book is told mostly from the character of Franny Keating, [...]

    15. Julie says:
      Commonwealth by Ann Patchett is a 2016 Harper publication This book is a bit of a departure for me, but I ve been craving something different, something profound and literary in nature With Commonwealth, I came to the right place One fateful Sunday afternoon, Bert Cousins arrives uninvited to Franny Keating s christening party He had only shown up to escape his own family life, which included his pregnant wife and three children But, once he set eyes on the beautiful Beverly Keating, mother of [...]

    16. Candi says:
      Had the Keatings just put the gin in their liquor cabinet no one would have thought less of them But Fix Keating had given the bottle to his wife, and his wife, worn down by the stress of throwing a good party, was going to have a drink, and if she was going to have a drink then by God everyone at the party was welcome to join her A couple receives a very unusual gift at a christening party I don t remember anyone ever showing up with a bottle of gin at either of my children s baptisms, but then [...]

    17. Norma says:
      Dysfunctional family drama Dysfunctional formatting Dysfunctional review COMMONWEALTH by ANN PATCHETT is a literary fiction novel to cherish for its many different interwoven and blended stories of love, destiny, loyalty, loss, secrets, disappointments, betrayal, and mistakes creating a family bonded together by a common understanding of each otherN PATCHETT delivers an interesting, complicated, and well written read here but I did find it to be somewhat challenging at times to keep up with all [...]

    18. Noel Nunez says:
      SPOILER FREE REVIEWCommonwealth is a story about people s stories There s a loose thread that binds all the tales together, but for the most part each one is treated separately There are no surprise endings, no hidden lessons, no zombie apocalypse Just the slow burn of daily life as the characters make mistakes and learn from them, trying to piece together a meaningful existence like the rest of us.In other words, profound, but way too realistic.How realistic Well, there s a chapter about a daug [...]

    19. Jenne says:
      I found it hard to give this book a rating On the one hand, it was an excellent example of a literary novel Great characters, good writing, lots of themes, emotionally engaging, the whole nine.On the other hand, I just don t really understand why people want to read books like this Why do you want to get inserted into some person s depressing life No opera singers or magicians or scientists deep in the jungle, just some people living in Los Angeles and dealing with each other s fuckups What s th [...]

    20. Helene Jeppesen says:
      This was a beautiful book to finish off my reading year of 2016 It was my first novel by Ann Patchett, and throughout my reading of it I couldn t help but wonder how difficult the writing of this book must have been That s because Commonwealth isn t written in chronological order In fact, it starts in the middle of the story and proceeds to the ending of the story in chapter two The rest of the book goes back and forth between the present, past and future, and you would think that that would mak [...]

    21. Jamise // Spines & Vines says:
      I love this book cover, the book not so much When I reached the end I had an overwhelming feeling of what did I just read What was the point or purpose I was disappointed because I love Ann Patchett s beautiful writing but this story just never gained momentum The story started off intriguing, fell into a state of whimsical melodrama and flatlined At times it was difficult to keep up with all the characters or even care about them I wanted to give up on this one because I simply never connected [...]

    22. Suzanne Leopold says:
      The book starts off at a party for Beverly Keating s daughter Franny Bert Cousins, attends the party and finds himself attracted to Beverly despite the fact that she is married to his colleague, Fix Bert and Beverly, share a kiss which serves as a catalyst in changing both their family s lives.Bert and Beverly marry and move to Virginia The book now focuses on the six children between the two families During the summers, when the children and stepchildren are together, they develop a bond We mee [...]

    23. Rebecca Foster says:
      Previously I d always preferred Patchett s nonfiction to her fiction However, this, for me, was much better than Bel Canto and State of Wonder As a deep study of blended family dynamics, it reminded me of Jonathan Franzen, as well as This Must Be the Place Maggie O Farrell and The Green Road Anne Enright Like those two, it shifts elegantly between times and places, often without any overt triggers like a date heading or a chapter break.It all starts with an early 1960s christening party Los Ange [...]

    24. Phrynne says:
      Four stars Very well written, loved Frannie and Fix and even Albie by the end I had some difficulty remembering who was whose child and who married who from time to time but I sorted myself out I enjoyed the different stories of the various characters and how they all came together by the end However and this is where it lost a star did no one else feel that the author was having trouble winding the book up She was still introducing characters in the last chapter at the Dinesons Christmas party [...]

    25. Dem says:
      The saying Gin makes you sin sure plays a role in Ann Patchett s latest novel Commonwealth.A novel about Family dynamics after marriages end and new relationships form and the fallout that folks have to deal with.One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating s christening party uninvited but with a large bottle of Gin Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny s mother, Beverly thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two [...]

    26. Cheri says:
      Edit Available to order now Franny is one year old as this story begins it s her party, her christening party She s toddling around in diapers as their home is invaded by every cop in town, and all the associated characters, the booze is flowing, kids are playing everywhere, her mother, Beverly, is looking smashing in a sunny yellow dress, her beauty shining brightly enough that when Bert Cousins arrives, he s blinded to everyone but her In less time than it took Bert Cousins to drive there, he [...]

    27. Marie says:
      The opening scene is set up like artwork You understand the background of the characters, the pace of their movements, the absurdity of their choices You feel the heat of the summer day, understand the lives that the characters lead and the small town that they live in You feel the music, the alcohol, the excitement, the dramatic turn of events that awaits You feel some characters sliding out of focus while others are becoming intensely illuminated even electrified It s as if a magic spell has [...]

    28. DeB MaRtEnS says:
      I love this book Ann Patchett has put the normal divorced family on a platter, stuck an apple in its mouth and presented it with all of the showmanship of a true performer and bludgeoned the pretence while gently uncovering the deepest wounds Commonwealth is tartly humorous, painfully straight faced, baldly tragic and a trifle optimistic It is unbelievable how much destruction that one person can cause One person who can act without consideration or any thought of the enormous consequences for a [...]

    29. Liz says:
      What a strange book Parts made laugh, parts made me cringe, and other parts just had me saying OMG Like the mother, who seeking revenge on her ex husband, sends their four children across the country to him for the summer with no luggage It all starts with a kiss at a christening party and the next thing you know, two families have dissolved and re assembled But there are huge gaps in the storyline, like how Bert and Beverly actually end up together.You hear from each of the characters at variou [...]

    30. Maxwell says:
      4.5 stars This was very close to being a 5 star read There was no particular moment that kept it from being perfect for me, but overall I think that it s strength is also one of its weaknesses Patchett spreads the story across so many characters wonderful ones, though that at times it can be a bit of a chore to keep track of everyone And on top of that I felt like following 8 MCs across the span of so many years kept me at the slightest distance from them While I cared so much about their storie [...]

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