Commonwealth wasn’t one of my favorite reads of the years but I still consider it “post-worthy.” (If I don’t like a book much at all I won’t post about it however I still will likely update my goodreads account.)
Obviously the 36 people waiting for this book at my local library are hoping this is a post-worthy book! Wow!! I reserve a lot of books and this is the most people I’ve noticed waiting for a certain book. I certainly bought into the hype and temporarily abandoned my fall-winter reading list.
I’ll start with what I liked about the book.
First I enjoyed the idea that over time fondness can develop among people who are thrust together in not-so-ideal situations (in this book’s case a newly blended family).
Also I am fascinated by the idea of how seemingly random occurrences can affect the outcome of lives. This is scary yet intriguing and oh so true. I remember a quote about this from Roger Ebert I used in my post on his memoir: “So much of what happens by chance forms what becomes your life.”
In this story’s case it all happens because someone brings a bottle of gin to a christening. Far-fetched? Maybe not. And “it all” is an interesting, sometimes sad story, but one that like most real stories turns out ok after all, for most people.
What I didn’t like…well for one it was hard to keep all the characters straight. Some of the kids (4 on one side) weren’t mentioned much at all at the beginning then later I was left thinking which one is that? Also I’m a big “quoter” and I wasn’t inspired to quote any lines and only one page was earmarked, these items lacking for me means it wasn’t super memorable.
Overall, I enjoyed the read, but I don’t really get the hype. I’m sure if you’ve liked Patchett in the past, you will like it. However, I would consider holding off for awhile and letting the “library lines” die down.
Right now I better get this particular book back to the dozens of people waiting for it!
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