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Summary

It is 1964: Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening uninvited, where he notices a heart-stoppingly beautiful woman. When Bert kisses Beverly Keating, his host's wife, he sets in motion the joining of two families. In 1988, Franny Keating, now 24, meets one of her idols, the famous author Leon Posen.

After telling him about her family, she unwittingly relinquishes control over their story. Franny never dreams that the consequences of this encounter will extend into the lives of her scattered siblings and parents.

©2016 Ann Patchett (P)2016 W.F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"There is a stillness and beauty to Ann Patchett's writing that takes the breath away.... Patchett's mastery of language is matched only by her narrative abilities." ( The Times)
"Enchanting prose and wondrous storytelling." ( Economist)

What listeners say about Commonwealth

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

For the first time

Ann Patchett is a genius but the person narrating her audiobook is so painfully bad that I can't make it through the whole thing. It's genuinely distracting.

23 people found this helpful

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Can I say that this has been a bit disappointing

Likes; some of the writing is quite poetic and it is easy to read
A plot point is woven throughout the book.
I had some favourite characters. And there were some thought provoking bits.
Dislikes; a lot of pages describing the mundane tedious parts of day to day life, makes for a lot of boringness. Jumping from present to past with a tonne of characters. I thought that I was feeling confused because I was listening to the story, but friends who read it, also felt confused. All in all a dull book for me.

8 people found this helpful

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A struggle...

The narrators voice was irritating and made the story difficult to access . I wouldn’t recommend this one

6 people found this helpful

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dreadful marration<br />

childlike narration. ridiculous attempts at male voices. totally overwhelmed the story. read this yourself.

6 people found this helpful

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Worse narrator

I’d read up to halfway of this book on hard copy and was utterly loving it , I needed to finish it for my book group but had to multi task so decided to listen to the second half . The female narrator doing the male characters voices was awful totally ruined the image I had of them in my head . Such a shame as this is a fabulously written book but the voice was so jarring ,could not finish it on Audible had to go back to reading it .

1 person found this helpful

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Ending?

I was really enjoying this but then it just meandered to an end and felt unfinished which was a shame.
I read some poor reviews of the narration for this book. I thought it was excellent and not a distraction at all.

1 person found this helpful

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What a disappointment

Up till now I have really enjoyed books by Ann Patchett but sadly Commonwealth has been a disappointment. Meandering story moving through different time zones with a host of characters - I never quite got to the point of it. And the final nail in the coffin was the narrator; she has a lovely voice but the voices she uses for the men and children in the story are excruciating. Such a pity.

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Commonwealth

It is an excellent story, which starts off a bit slow and gets better as it goes on. It’s well crafted and engaging, but the narrator is rather annoying (to say the least) and her various international vocal accents are verging on racist!! It sadly detracts from the story.

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Narrator is terrible

After thoroughly enjoying the Dutch House I was keen to start this. I found the narrator completely off-putting. Her male voices are so bad they sound like insane Muppets. I can't listen to it. This is one where I'll be happy to simply read the book without audio.

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Well read

I really enjoyed the book. Sometimes the narrator is very poor and spoils the story but Laurence Bouvard does an excellent job

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  • Melanie Cilliers
  • 21-06-20

Ann Patchet is a master

read all her books by now and never not satisfied... state of wonder also brilliant!

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  • LAA
  • 09-12-16

Commonwealth

Sorry narrater.
Pretty OK story but hard to enjoy due to narrator's inadequate reading ability.