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Publisher Description

#1 New York Times Bestseller

The acclaimed, bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives.

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 that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between 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.

Fiction & Literature
September 13

Customer Reviews

Perky too ,


This book has appeared on several best of the year lists and although I enjoyed it I'm not sure I would put it at the top of my own list. Yes, there are a lot of characters and sometimes hard to remember who belongs to which family but they are all very real people. Some plot lines are more interesting than others and the ending drags a bit, but it is a good read. Be patient or start a list at the beginning with parents and kids.

#beastsauce ,

Very disappointed

Like so many character novels, this story lacks a good plot. Yes, the themes of divorce, shared families, loss, and past mistakes are there. But they have no central plot, or culmination. It feels like it meanders through a family history. The one thing that could have redeemed this slow, rather boring story, was a sense of humor. Families are funny. For some reason I kept thinking the plot was around the corner. Nope. Never was.

Kara McQ ,

Awful writing style

I don’t recommend this book. The writing and story were all over the place I never knew if it was past or present. The story line was ok just executed poorly.

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