Commonwealth (Hardcover)

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September 2016 Indie Next List


“Patchett leaves behind the exotic locales and intricate plots of State of Wonder and Bel Canto for an even darker and more difficult place to navigate -- the interior of a blended family over the course of several decades. While more domestic than many of her previous novels, Commonwealth offers plenty of intrigue and surprises as Patchett explores the interaction of a group of children forced into each other's lives because of their parents' impulsive choices. With keen insight, tears of both sorrow and joy, and some real -- if dark -- humor, Patchett pulls readers into this complex family's world, and we are eager for every detail.”
— John Christensen (W), Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

Description


#1 New York Times Bestseller

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.

Praise For…


Praise for Commonwealth:
“Patchett brings humanity, humor, and a disarming affection to lovable, struggling characters... Irresistible.”

“Exquisite... Commonwealth is impossible to put down.”

“(A) rich and engrossing new novel …”

“Indeed, this is Patchett’s most autobiographical novel, a sharply funny, chilling, entrancing, and profoundly affecting look into one family’s “commonwealth,” its shared affinities, conflicts, loss, and love.”

“…a funny, sad, and ultimately heart-wrenching family portrait…Patchett elegantly manages a varied cast of characters…[Patchett is] at her peak in humor, humanity, and understanding people in challenging situations.”

“The prose is lean and inviting…A satisfying meat-and-potatoes domestic novel from one of our finest writers.”

“Wonderfully executed…”

Commonwealth is a smart, thoughtful novel about the ties that bind us.”

Commonwealth is an all-American family saga, but her touching and even-handed approach to themes such as family politics, love, the role of literature and the acidic nature of lies is buoyed by a generous sprinkling of matter-of-fact humor”

Commonwealth bursts with keen insights into faithfulness, memory and mortality… [An] ambitious American epic…”

“Patchett’s storytelling has never seemed more effortlessly graceful. This is minimalism that magically speaks volumes…”

Commonwealth represents yet another victory for Patchett. Readers will fly through it... the tale is so rich and the plot is so wildly addicting, readers won’t be able to put it down until they’ve turned the final page.”

“The genius of the way Patchett approached Commonwealth is that it’s constructed like a puzzle… Maybe it’s another case of the tried-and-true adage: “Write what you know.” Because this book? It’s pure gangbusters.”

“moving, beautifully crafted novel…”

Commonwealth is a sly book about storytelling, a story about a single incident - really two pivotal incidents - spun out over the length of a narrative constructed like a conversation but encompassing decades.”

“splendid new novel… Just try to stop reading. And you won’t want to. Patchett is in stellar form.”

“… the emotional intelligence of Patchett’s storytelling here feels warmer and richer and more resonant than anything she’s done before.” Rating: A

“close obervation, deadpan humor… Chekhov regularly invoked”

“Patchett gives us funny, flawed characters, and the rich reward of Commonwealth is seeing their lives unfold…”

“a wry, compassionate tale”

“…to create a story with 10 protagonists that spans 50 years - and at least five settings spread across the globe - is a balancing act that requires immense narrative skill, and Patchett never falters.”

“Reading Commonwealth is a transporting experience… It feels like Patchett’s most intimate novel and is without doubt one of her best.”

“Wonderful… Patchett is a master storyteller”

“Spinning ordinary lives into literary gold”

“[A] memorable, modern novel”

“Ann Patchett’s gifts are more clear than ever in Commonwealth

“Ann Patchett’s moving, beautifully crafted novel”

“Patchett’s storytelling here feels warmer and richer and more resonant than anything she’s done before.”

“Patchett’s slyly knowing voice - full of wit and warmth - elevates every page of this novel - one that, through the alchemy of her writing, somehow feels more than the sum of its parts.”

“Surprising, nuanced, complex and, above all, genuine.”

“I couldn’t put down Ann Patchett’s terrific new novel…”

“Patchett’s insight into the practical and emotional impacts of uprooting families is impressive... candid, poignant, humorous...”

“a captivating family drama”

“Patchett cuts to the heart of existence in the age of divorce”

“[An] achingly real tale”

“a family drama with a hint of metafiction at its heart.”

“Patchett brings every character in Commonwealth to luminous life.”

Praise for State of Wonder:
“An engaging, consummately told tale.”

“Emotionally lucid. . . . Patchett is at her lyrical best when she catalogues the jungle.”

“This is surely the smartest, most exciting novel of the summer.”

“The book is serious, but also so pleasurable that you hope it won’t end.”

“Extraordinary. . . . Is there nothing the prodigiously talented Ann Patchett can’t do?”

“Wryly humorous, intensely moving... this domestic novel is a book to savor from one of our finest writers”


Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062491794
ISBN-10: 0062491792
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: September 13th, 2016
Pages: 336
Language: English