Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, 322 pages.

An engaging novel of family love and family dysfunction. The book starts with the parents, Bert and Theresa, and Fix and Beverly out in Los Angeles. Bert is a prosecuting attorney and Fix is a cop. Bert and Theresa have three children with the fourth on the way. Franny, whose christening is the setting for the beginning of the novel, and Caroline are the two children of Fix and Beverly. Bert crashes the christening, drunkenly kisses Beverly and the lives of the adults and all of the children (including the yet-to-be born Albie) are altered. The six children spend feral summers at Bert and Beverly's new home in Virginia, drinking gin and running around with Bert's gun. Tragedy finds them, and everyone spends the rest of their lives dealing with that.

Well narrated by Hope Davis.

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