“Patchett brings humanity, humor, and a disarming affection to lovable, struggling characters... Irresistible.” (Library Journal)
“Exquisite... Commonwealth is impossible to put down.” (New York Times)
“(A) rich and engrossing new novel …” (New York Times Book Review)
“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.” (Booklist)
“…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.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“The prose is lean and inviting…A satisfying meat-and-potatoes domestic novel from one of our finest writers.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Wonderfully executed…” (Marie Claire)
“Commonwealth is a smart, thoughtful novel about the ties that bind us.” (Pop Sugar)
“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” (BookPage)
“Commonwealth bursts with keen insights into faithfulness, memory and mortality… [An] ambitious American epic…” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
From the Back Cover
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 based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows among 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.