• by Ann Patchett
  • Narrated by Hope Davis
  • 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The acclaimed best-selling 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 20s, 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.


Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, September 2016 - The day I get to start a new novel from Ann Patchett is like Christmas to me. I can't wait to open the gift of her lyrical writing and then am sad when the book is over and wish I could relive the magic of experiencing it for the first time. My Christmas came early this year, as I got the chance to read Commonwealth ahead of publication, and will come again on September 13 when I listen to the marvelous actress Hope Davis perform the story. Davis narrated Patchett's last novel, and the return of this powerhouse combination is sure to have Commonwealth - a smart, funny, and heart-wrenchingly relatable story of two families coming together over the course of 50 years - at the top of the best seller and Best of 2016 lists. —Diana, Audible Editor


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Must Listen for Patchett fans

Ann Patchett has written a gem of a book- a pared down family saga that will live in my imagination for a long time. Commonwealth delivers segments of an arc, some overlapping, mostly out of order. Patchett trusts the reader to fill in the blanks, to intuit the shape of the whole. This is a novel about the power of story and the gravitational pull of family, and it packs a punch.

I have loved everything I've read by Patchett, especially her nonfiction collection This is the Story of a Happy Marriage ( read it twice- it's that good) but this is definitely my new fave! Tremendous storytelling, wonderful characters, and some of the most well timed humor I've ever read in a novel. A must listen!
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- J

Don't waste a credit

What would have made Commonwealth better?

My rule of thumb, is after reading or listening to half a book and I don't have any interest in the characters then I stop reading or listening. Because I like other books Ann Patchett has written, I continued on with this one hoping it would get better. It never did.

Has Commonwealth turned you off from other books in this genre?


What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narration was OK, not good, not bad.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


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- Joanne McMullen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-13-2016
  • Publisher: HarperAudio