Sunday, February 26, 2017


Ann Patchett's Commonwealth is deeply lovely. The story of broken families and a blended family, it focusses on the relationships between the siblings and step siblings, and is remarkable in the compassion the characters have toward each other. Patchett wrote each character with love, and it is surprising, refreshing, how good a novel can be without a villain or significant conflict. There is some conflict, and a painful tragedy at the heart of Commonwealth, and that pain is made sharper by the innocence and forgiveness of everyone in the book. Some of the scenes, such as the party in the first chapter, the children visiting in Virginia, the gathering in the Hamptons, are so well conveyed that I was at times just amazed at the damn good writing.

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