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Commonwealth: A Novel Audiobook, by Ann Patchett Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Ann Patchett Narrator: Hope Davis Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2016 ISBN: 9780062561718
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 5.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The emotional intelligence of Patchett’s storytelling here feels warmer and richer and more resonant than anything she’s done before. Rating: A.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Wonderfully executed.”

    Marie Claire

  • “Rich and engrossing.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “This is minimalism that magically speaks volumes.”

    Washington Post

  • “Bursts with keen insights into faithfulness, memory. and mortality…[An] ambitious American epic.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “The genius of the way Patchett approached Commonwealth is that it’s constructed like a puzzle…It’s pure gangbusters.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • Commonwealth is an all-American family saga…buoyed by a generous sprinkling of matter-of-fact humor….May be her best book yet.”

    BookPage

  • “A funny, sad, and ultimately heart-wrenching family portrait…[Patchett is] at her peak in humor, humanity, and understanding people in challenging situations.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Two families are fused, atomized, and reconfigured by a stolen kiss, a child’s death, and a bestselling novel.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Patchett brings humanity, humor, and a disarming affection to lovable, struggling characters…Irresistible.”

    Library Journal

  • “A sharply funny, chilling, entrancing, and profoundly affecting look into one family’s ‘commonwealth,’ its shared affinities, conflicts, loss, and love.”

    Booklist

  • “Hope Davis is an outstanding narrator, and many will enjoy her interpretation of Ann Patchett’s expansive new novel, based on her own life.”

    AudioFile

  • A September 2016 LibraryReads Pick
  • A BookPage Top Pick for September 2016
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for September 2016
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2016 
  • Longlisted for the 2017 Carnegie Medal for Literature
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year for 2016
  • Conroy Legacy Award
  • A 2016 LibraryReads Favorites of the Favorites selection

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stefano | 12/11/2017

    " Ann Patchett is a great writer, and I love Hope Davies reading. She's a great actress, and makes the book, story and characters come alive with every line. "

About the Author

Ann Patchett is the author of several novels and books of nonfiction. She has won many prizes, including Britain’s Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her novels Bel Canto and The Patron Saint of Liars have been made into major motion pictures. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She has written for many publications including the New York Times, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Vogue.

About the Narrator

Hope Davis, an actress and Earphones Award–winning narrator, has starred in more than twenty feature films, including Arlington Road, American Splendor, and Next Stop Wonderland. Also an accomplished stage actress, she earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the Broadway play God of Carnage. She was voted Best Actress in 2003 by the New York Film Critics.