Commonwealth (Patchett) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
In her gorgeous, masterly new novel, Ann Patchett examines how the heavy weight of the past hangs on the present—the effect of a single action barreling down the decades, shaping lives for better or worse. The event might be as innocent as dancing with a priest at a party, simply because no other man is available. Or it might be far less innocent but no less surprising—a stolen kiss between two otherwise married people. It's that stolen kiss we're concerned with…  READ MORE
Molly Lundquist - LitLovers

Patchett’s language is generally plain but occasionally soars satisfyingly; her observations about people and life are insightful; and her underlying tone is one of compassion and amusement. If Commonwealth lacks the foreign intrigue of Bel Canto or State of Wonder, both of which took place in South America and contained more suspense, this novel, much of which unfolds in American suburbs, recognizes that the passage of time is actually the ultimate plot.... Patchett also skillfully illustrates the way that seemingly minor, even arbitrary deci­sions can have long-lasting conse­quences and the way that we often fear the wrong things.
Curtis Sittenfeld - New York Times Book Review

Commonwealth bursts with keen insights into faithfulness, memory and mortality.… [An] ambitious American epic.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(Starred review.) [A] funny, sad, and ultimately heart-wrenching family portrait: a collage of parents, children, stepchildren, siblings, and stepsiblings.... Patchett elegantly manages a varied cast of characters....[showing] her at her peak in humor, humanity, and understanding.
Publishers Weekly

In this new novel by the beloved New York Times best-selling Patchett, Bert Cousins arrives uninvited at Franny Keating's christening party, recalling Sleeping Beauty's bad fairy and wreaking just as much havoc.
Library Journal

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.

(Starred review.) The prose is lean and inviting, but the constant shifts in point of view, the peripatetic chronology, and the ever growing cast of characters will keep you on your toes. A satisfying meat-and-potatoes domestic novel from one of our finest writers.
Kirkus Reviews

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