‘Dazzling … The combination of lightness, warmth and remarkable incisiveness creates a novel that is life-affirming and compulsively readable’ Sunday Times
It is 1964: Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited and notices a heart stoppingly beautiful woman. When he kisses Beverly Keating, his host’s wife, he sets in motion the joining of two families, whose shared fate will be defined on a day seven years later. In 1988, Franny Keating, now twenty-four, is working as a cocktail waitress in Chicago. When she meets the famous author Leon Posen one night at the bar, and tells him about her family, she unwittingly relinquishes control over their story…
Patchett blends wisdom and humanity jointly with the icy forensic gaze of someone not afraid to expose the frailties of human behaviour ... Read it -- Jojo Moyes Part of Patchett's design is to curve every type, bend every cliche, adulterate every formula ... Subtle, startling and painful ... Commonwealth is one of the most discerning novels about siblings I can recall ... Alive with provocative insights that sum up entire relationships -- Sarah Churchwell * Guardian * Stunning -- India Knight * Sunday Times * Hugely entertaining and an unsettling joy to read -- Roddy Doyle * Irish Times * An outstanding novel ... The opening is a show stopper ... Patchett is a pleasure to read: there is a no-fuss casualness to the prose that is only possible when a writer is in control of every word and she is master of her art * Observer * The opening scene .... is a faultless set piece ... Her prose is equally powerful when she's evoking a 1970s summer in Virginia ... Patchett deftly summons up a simmering childhood anger and dangerously ricocheting energy * The Times * Patchett writes excellently and seemingly artlessly * Daily Mail * Dazzling ... sharply observed, ripe with humour, laden with significance ... Her characters shimmer with life-likeness, and she pulls you into every one of her vibrantly drawn scenes with great ease ... The combination of lightness, warmth and remarkable incisiveness creates a novel that is life-affirming and compulsively readable * Sunday Times * The book flows easily between narrators, constantly switching from past to present, and slowly revealing what happened that summer, allowing Patchett to play with memory and perspective to surprisingly moving effect ... Commonwealth is a book about relationships and the obligations they bring .. Poignant ... funny ... An engaging novel that draws you in with sharp observation, a gin-fuelled plot written in beautiful prose and convincing dialogue. You miss the characters once it's over * Evening Standard * She achieves the great novel of American domestic life with a spare hand and a demotic prose that seems to come from the mouths of her characters, even when they aren't speaking ... Her unshowy account of public and private stories addresses the great puzzle of what our lives are really made of ... This novel convinces me she's wiping the floor with her heftier competitors -- Linda Grant * Daily Telegraph * Commonwealth is full of heart, and is Patchett's most complex and emotionally suspenseful novel. She never hits a wrong note although she conjures with many deftly drawn characters. The opening chapter is one of the best party-scene seductions ever written -- Louise Erdrich, author of The Beet Queen She is one of those rare writers, like Anne Enright or Anne Tyler, who is able to convey poignancy and humour in the space of a single sentence -- Elizabeth Day * Irish Times * So clear and clean and at the top of her game ... It is just so masterfully done. The sweep of it and the subtlety of the ideas -- Esther Freud Beautiful -- Katie Roiphe * Observer * From the mesmerising first chapter to the final page, Ann Patchett's new novel is utterly brilliant. This domestic drama deals in loyalties, sibling rivalries, jealously and heartbreak in an effortlessly graceful style that makes for unputdownable reading * Sunday Express * Gorgeously evocative writing and complex characters ... Patchett is a writer of exceptional talent, and this is one of her best yet * Good Housekeeping * A deft craftsman ... Patchett ultimately wins the reader over with her perceptive qualities, alluring characters and undertone of humour ... In Commonwealth, Patchett's nimble storytelling floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee * Literary Review * This delicate exploration of the ties that bind us never seems to lose focus * Stylist * An absorbing, brilliantly observed novel * Women & Home * Rich and engrossing ... her observations about people and life are insightful; and her underlying tone is one of compassion and amusement ... Patchett also skilfully 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 * Delicious. From the moment a kiss at a christening ends up sparking the divide and re-merging of two families, I was drawn into the minutiae of the drama ... Patchett makes you feel like you've lived among it and have been subsumed into the newly drawn clan * Grazia * Humourous and heartbreaking, this quietly brilliant collage of a novel also happens to be semi-autobiographical itself * Mail on Sunday * Life-affirming and compulsively readable * Sunday Times * Told with great sympathy and even greater wit - it should be said that Commonwealth is very funny indeed - this is a book to savour * The Lady * At the heart of a novel is a family story that is appropriated by another character - an author - the consequences of which ripple out to every family member * Guardian Readers' Books of the Year * I want to tell you how good Ann Patchett is. She's classy. She reminds me of Anne Tyler - superb at domestic details and very ambitious * Evening Standard * Patchett moves through the gears very smoothly, from sexual attraction to disease and violent death. Exciting, and also poignant * Independent * When the tragic power of the story hits the reader, the effect is breathtaking. Patchett sucker-punches you, but leaves you feeling you had it coming - whether for underestimating her, her characters, or humanity, it is hard to say' -- Sarah Churchwell * Guardian * An outstanding novel ... The opening is a show stopper ... Patchett is light, incisive and all-seeing ... She lets readers reflect on what is involved in stealing from life: emotional copyright is, in this unpushy and brilliant novel, more powerful than anyone dared suppose * Observer * Ann Patchett's cleverly crafted Commonwealth is one of her best, which for this writer is saying a great deal -- Geraldine Brooks * Sydney Morning Herald, Books of the Year 2017 *
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