Sigh. I wanted to love this book. I desperately wanted to love this book. I wanted to love this book way before I even saw it on Southern Livings Best New Summer Books of 2017 list. As I am typing, I have before me an article on this book from “Reading Room,” which was published in the Oprah Magazine issued in October 2016. I tore this article out of that magazine, littered my house with it for over six months, so that I’d remember to read this book. That is how much I wanted to love this book. I chased this book. And like many things in life the chase was better than the prize. Interestingly enough, that is what this book, or at least part of this story, is about.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, is a story of two families, the Cousins and the Keatings, that are initially torn asunder by a gin and juice induced stolen kiss at a christening party. This kiss leads to the demise of two marriages, yet connects these two families to the very (bitter or not bitter, you decide) end. Patchett presents us with a somewhat uncomfortable view of cause and effect, a fictitious reflection of how our choices today can have an unsavory outcome in the future. This story, which spans decades of the family members’ lives, is told from the various view points of the family members and interestingly enough is the story in the middle of the story.
In hindsight, my initial words are probably too harsh. I actually am happy that I read the book. I’m just not sure it would make it to the shelves of my beach house.