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Commonwealth Book Review

What a story.

I took this book, along with Final Girls, to the cabin with me this summer and I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this one due to my own personal family history.

Commonwealth: A Novel, by Ann Patchett, begins at the christening party celebrating Fix and Beverly’s new daughter, Frances, or Franny as we get to know her as.

Eventually, Fix and Beverly divorce and they both create new families. Beverly moves to Virginia and Fix stays in California, but the children from both families unite to spend summers together throughout their childhood.

Throughout the story, we follow Franny until she finds a family of her own while also caring for her parents.

What I loved most about this story was the mostly happy ending. These families, though separated, encountered each other several times over four generations of time.

I won’t spoil the details, but I will add a bit of my own familial history for context as to why it was on my TBR list.

My parents separated when I was six. I had two younger siblings at the time of the divorce. My mom went on to remarry and a few years later I had another sister. My dad also went on to remarry to someone who had three of her own already, and then they adopted three more.

If you do the math, I have nine younger siblings.

However,  I haven’t seen my dad, his wife, or their kids for nearly 10 years now. He had his own agenda and we just went our separate ways.

Back to the book!

The writing was beautiful. It was in the third person, but it had quite a bit of inner monologue from Franny. You could also hear the stories and voices of other characters loud and clear.

I’m really glad I picked up Commonwealth, and I’d recommend you give this a read if you’re interested in family dynamics, a little drama and a feel-good ending.

Rent or buy yourself a copy of Commonwealth: A Novel.

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