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Commonwealth : Ann Patchett
1964: When Bert Cousins shows up at a christening party unannounced and holding a bottle of gin, the events of what follows lead to the break up of two marriages.
1988: Franny is working as a cocktail waitress in Chicago when she meets the esteemed writer Leon Posen. When she tells him her life story he turns it into a best selling book called Commonwealth.
This is a wonderful family saga that superbly tells of the aftermath of divorce and the rippling effects it can have on the family members. There are six children spread amongst the two families, and each one has their own upsets and ways of dealing with the seperation to their lives and to the dysfunctional family that they inevitably become.
Franny (the baby in the original christening party) has dropped out of law school; Albie (the youngest child ) chooses to live a nomadic life, while Holly moves overseas. There are themes of loss, family, death, passion and childhood.
The saga spans 50 years and is beautifully written, moving back and for across two different states in America. The characters are well formed and distinctive, especially Franny and her father Fix Keating, whose brash personality I found endearing as we learnt of his regrets at opening the door to Bert Cousins on that fateful day.
Patchett is a master story teller and on my list as one of my favorite authors. 5/5. 📚