Commonwealth
by Ann Patchett and Hope Davis


Overview -

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.  Read more...


 
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More About Commonwealth by Ann Patchett; Hope Davis
 
 
 
Overview

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.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062561725
  • ISBN-10: 0062561723
  • Publisher: Harperaudio
  • Publish Date: September 2016
  • Dimensions: 1.75 x 5 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.49 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Family Life
Books > Fiction > Coming of Age
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

Audio: Exemplary audio gifts

Yes, Commonwealth, Ann Patchett’s brilliant new novel, narrated by Hope Davis, is autobiographical. But it’s her fabulous, fluent storytelling, her understanding of family in all its cumbersome complexity and delicately nuanced affections and animosities that makes this group portrait so appealing. It all begins with a gin-soaked kiss at a christening party in 1960s Los Angeles that leads to divorce, a cross-country move and a blended but never homogenized family forced into intimacies that shift over the decades.

With clarity, smooth prose and a new cache of documents, Jeffrey Toobin tells the still-tantalizing tale that mesmerized a nation in the 1970s in American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst. It’s all here, set in context: how a captive became a bank-robbing comrade, how the jailed Patty became a Hearst again. All read with perfect pacing by Paul Michael.

On June 22, 1922, Count Alexander Rostov appeared before a Bolshevik Tribunal, accused of succumbing “to the corruption of his class.” Only his high-ranking friends kept him from being summarily shot. Instead, the handsome, gracious young count became a “Former Person,” sentenced to spend the rest of his life in Moscow’s famed Hotel Metropole. It’s the next 40 years of that life that Amor Towles so skillfully evokes in his quintessentially charming second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, read with impeccable Rostov grace by Nicholas Guy Smith.

Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, Hamilton: The Revolution is an irresistibly moving, revelatory account of the hottest, most heralded Broadway show in a generation. McCarter was in meetings, workshops and dressing rooms during the six years of the play’s development, and he talked with more than 40 people close to the show. He details Miranda’s constant rewriting and reshaping and shows how people from different backgrounds came together to make this stunningly audacious show work so wonderfully. Miranda reads the 300 funny footnotes he added to the libretto (on an accompanying PDF, which includes fabulous photos). 

TOP PICK IN AUDIO
With mastery worthy of Rembrandt, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Dominic Smith’s fourth novel, moves back and forth in time and place from 1631 Amsterdam when Sara de Vos painted her hauntingly beautiful “At the Edge of the Wood,” to 1957 New York when it was stolen from Marty de Groot’s Fifth Avenue penthouse and replaced by a flawless forgery. In 2000, the forger, Ellie Shipley, is in Sydney, Australia. She’s now a renowned expert on women painters of the Dutch Golden Age, awaiting the authentic de Vos painting and the forgery she made decades ago to arrive for an exhibition. Engrossing audio, elegantly wrought, elegantly read by Edoardo Ballerini.

 

This article was originally published in the December 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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