Commonwealth (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


It all started at a family christening party when a surprise guest shows up with a big bottle of gin. The host is sent out for ice and by the time he returns the future of his family has becomes totally enmeshed with another. The rest of the book is told from the point of view of the six children in this blended family as they figure out how to cope with their parent’s impulsive decision. Summers are spent in Virginia (the Commonwealth), where they are left with very little supervision that results in a tragic accident which impacts all of them for the rest of their lives. It’s an intriguing and even funny story about family and growing up together. And apart.

— Jane Guthrie

September 2016 Indie Next List


“Patchett leaves behind the exotic locales and intricate plots of State of Wonder and Bel Canto for an even darker and more difficult place to navigate -- the interior of a blended family over the course of several decades. While more domestic than many of her previous novels, Commonwealth offers plenty of intrigue and surprises as Patchett explores the interaction of a group of children forced into each other's lives because of their parents' impulsive choices. With keen insight, tears of both sorrow and joy, and some real -- if dark -- humor, Patchett pulls readers into this complex family's world, and we are eager for every detail.”
— John Christensen (W), Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

Product Details
ISBN: 2300460535097
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: September 13th, 2016
Language: English