Sunday, November 20, 2016


I always like to read a few just-released books each year and since I am a newbie on the Ann Patchett fan club bus, I picked Commonwealth as one of my books released this year to read.  It was good, very good, but not in the same category of wow as Bel Canto for me, from which I don't want anyone to conclude that I didn't like the book.  

Despite having read a few reviews, I went into it with no real notion of what it was about.  In a nutshell, it is about divorce and what that does to families.  Two families, the Cousins and the Keatings both live in Los Angeles in the 1960s, and when Bert Cousins crashes a christening party at the Keating house, he changes the course of the lives of everyone in both households.

The really interesting part is that one of the characters, Franny Keating, tells her novelist lover about her childhood and how her family and the Cousins became entangled, and he turns that into an award-winning novel, called Commonwealth.  I do like the meta twist to the story and I think it adds an interesting layer to the concepts of family history, privacy, and relationships that Patchett explores in her novel.

I love the cover, by the way, with the oranges that are so much a part of the opening of the story. Made me long for a citrus tree of my own.


  1. I have not read Pratchett but bI would like to give her a try.

    I also tend to like books that contain ploy elements about books and related meta - fiction.

  2. Ann Patchett is a favorite and I plan to read Commonwealth as soon as Nonfiction November is over. Beginning to think I also need to reread Bel Canto, too... of all Patchett's novels, it's my least favorite, but I don't remember it well enough to say why. Sigh.

    1. I know the feeling--sometimes I have to go back and read the post I did on a book because my memory of it is so shaky!

  3. Thx for pinning down for me what the novel is about. I've read several blog posts on this novel but wasn't sure till now. I've liked her books in the past ...

  4. I adore Patchett's books but she has yet to write one that lives up to Bel Canto for me. I did really like this one a lot, though.