From the cover blurb – Commonwealth by Ann Patchett 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.
Patchett is a glorious writer who can weave together a tale that will pull you in and not let go. Bert Cousins shows up for Franny’s christening party. He’s not been invited, but the Keatings welcome him because that’s what they do. By nightfall he’s kissed Beverly (the mother) and has set in motion the dissolution of two marriages and the joining of two families. Yowza.
Five decades are covered in Commonwealth. The six kids unite and manage to become friends, united against the parents who betrayed them. Franny, our heroine, begins an affair with a famous author, Leon Posen. Her stories to him of her family become gristmill for his award winning book. Can Franny survive this betrayal of sorts? Can the family overcome the losses, guilt, and connection they have to the past to overcome the future? Humor and heartbreak are the connections in Commonwealth.
Through it all, Patchett’s writing is lovely. She captures the characters, weaves her plot, and keeps us wanting more. I highly recommend this book and shall not give away more plot. You must delve into it yourselves. Dig deep and root for this family to pull together and make it work. This is very much a book about current times, blended families, and the power of love.