A tangled story of two families, intertwined by divorce and marriage
I'm Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies.
Numerous individuals have urged me to read something by Ann Patchett. But I could not uncover some special character or an interesting idea to grab onto. I decided to forgo my Rule of 50 as a test of the efficacy of that rule. Commonwealth is Patchett’s tenth novel. According to the dust jacket, Ann Patchett has authored nine novels and three works of non-fiction. She was the editor of The Best American Short Stories: 2006. She has won numerous awards, notably the PEN/Faulkner and the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has been translated into more than 30 languages. She co-owns Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their dog, Sparky.
The story comprises three parts: the first is the intro duction to two families and a half dozen children. Part Two mixes all these individuals. Finally, the last is an extensive examination of these people as the family fragments and falls apart. I had a difficult time keeping the family’s names and relations straight. I began to understand the makeup of the family just as Part Three re-tangled them all together. (more)