Book Rating (149)
Narrator Rating (24)

Commonwealth

Unabridged Audio Book

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Hope Davis

10 Hours 35 Minutes

HarperCollins Publishers

September 2016

Audio Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

  • Phyllis F

    Ann Patchett is a favorite author. Not up to some of her earlier work. A challenge to keep the characters straight at times.

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  • nab6215

    Goodreads labels 5-stars as \"it is amazing.\" I loved Ann\'s Pratchett\'s Commonwealth, but it had its problems. It was hard for me to follow who all of the people are. (I imagine the problems I have with Tolstoy.) The timeline switches were also confusing. It was amazing because Franny and the other characters became real to me. I enjoyed the retrospective of older characters, probably because I\'m older. I will probably reread Commonwealth.

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  • Gail R.

    This book was a real disappointment. There were a lot of characters and none of them were adequately developed. I am guessing the author identified with Fran as there was way too much time spent on her and her inexplicable relationship with Leo, a much older man who ok writes Fran’s family story based presumably on pillow talk (but no pillows are discussed...that’s a detail donchaknow). The narrator was fabulous tho...only reason why I kept listening—-I thought it HAD to get better (but it did not)

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  • Allison C.

    I really enjoyed the book.

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  • Pam W

    I thought Hope Davis did a great job narrating this and differentiating her voice based on the characters. The book was just "eh" to me. Listened to it all because I simply can't stop in the middle, but I was tempted.

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  • Jen U

    I loved this book. It was the perfect book at the perfect time in my life . I was glad I kept notes on who each character was. It helped me keep track of all of them. I thought the narrator was especially good. The best I have heard in a long time. She fit each character well without exaggerating the emotions .

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  • Pam Wilson

    The flashbacks were difficult for me, because several character, I did not understand their motivations.

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  • Roz Gentry

    Did not enjoy. Difficult to follow and uninteresting.

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  • Cathy Smith

    I enjoyed this book a lot. The characters' evolution over time was really fun to see. This went in so many directions, but I enjoyed how it all came together in the end. Life goes on.

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  • Miriam Friedman

    Loved this book. Narrative structure interesting. Characters well developed. Hope Davis did a beautiful reading.

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