Hide Sora notification

Try Sora - the student reading app, by OverDrive

Apple App Store
Google Play Store
  Main Nav
Cover of Commonwealth
Borrow Borrow
"Exquisite... Commonwealth is impossible to put down." — New York Times#1 New York Times Bestseller | NBCC Award Finalist | New York Times Best Book of the Year | USA Today Best Book | TIME...
"Exquisite... Commonwealth is impossible to put down." — New York Times#1 New York Times Bestseller | NBCC Award Finalist | New York Times Best Book of the Year | USA Today Best Book | TIME...
Available Formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
  • Available:
  • Library copies:

Recommended for you



  • "Exquisite... Commonwealth is impossible to put down."
    — New York Times

    #1 New York Times Bestseller | NBCC Award Finalist | New York Times Best Book of the Year | USA Today Best Book | TIME Magazine Top 10 Selection | Oprah Favorite Book of 2016 | New York Magazine Best Book of The Year

    The acclaimed, bestselling 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 twenties, 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.



About the Author-

  • ANN PATCHETT is the author of seven novels, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician's Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder, and Commonwealth. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories, 2006, and has written three books of nonfiction, Truth & Beauty, about her friendship with the writer, Lucy Grealy, What now? an expansion of her graduation address at Sarah Lawrence College, and, most recently, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, a collection of essays.

    In November 2011, she opened Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, with her partner Karen Hayes. She has since gone on to be a spokesperson for independent booksellers, talking about books and bookstores on "The Colbert Report," NPR, "The Martha Stewart Show" and "The CBS Early Show." Along with James Patterson she was the honorary chair of World Book Night. In 2012 she was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

    Ann Patchett lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Karl VanDevender, and their dog, Sparky.


  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 9, 2016
    Patchett (State of Wonder) draws from personal experience for a funny, sad, and ultimately heart-wrenching family portrait: a collage of parents, children, stepchildren, siblings, and stepsiblings. In 1960s California, lawyer Bert Cousins divorces Teresa, leaving her to raise their four children alone; Beverly Keating divorces Fix, an L.A. cop; and Bert and Beverly marry and relocate to Virginia with Beverly and Fix’s two children. Visiting arrangements result in an angry, resentful younger generation—rebellious Cal, frustrated Holly, practical Jeannette, littlest Albie, bossy Caroline, kind-hearted Franny—spending part of summer vacations together. Left unsupervised, Cal takes charge, imitating grown-ups by drinking and carrying a gun, until a fatal accident puts an end to shared vacations. Patchett follows the surviving children into adulthood, focusing on Franny, who confides to novelist Leo Posen stories of her childhood, including the secret behind the accident. Twenty years after that conversation, middle-aged with children and stepchildren of their own, Franny and Caroline take 83-year-old Fix to see the movie version of Leo’s novel about their family. Patchett elegantly manages a varied cast of characters as alliances and animosities ebb and flow, cross-country and over time. Scenes of Franny and Leo in the Hamptons and Holly and Teresa at a Zen meditation center show her at her peak in humor, humanity, and understanding people in challenging situations. What’s more challenging, after all, than a family like the Commonwealth of Virginia, made up of separate entities bound together by chance and history?

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 5, 2016
    In Patchett’s domestic tale, a stolen kiss at a christening party in the 1960s leads to a new blended family of six stepsiblings whom the novel follows over 50 years. Reader Davis, a well-known actress and frequent contributor to the radio program Selected Shorts, boasts a robust resume, but her vocal performance for this title is uneven. On the plus side, Davis’s gentle and unpretentious voice is pleasant, and fits well with the muted emotional climate of the family. But in Davis’s reading, it’s hard to distinguish between the six siblings, and as a result the story as a whole falls flat. Only Caroline, the oldest and most combative of the children, comes across as uniquely individual. In a novel that depends so heavily on dialogue and characterization, Davis’s monochromatic performance fails to realize the richness of Patchett’s careful observations. A Harper hardcover.

  • Library Journal

    April 1, 2016

    In this new novel by the beloved New York Times best-selling Patchett, Bert Cousins arrives uninvited at Franny Keating's christening party, recalling Sleeping Beauty's bad fairy and wreaking just as much havoc. He ends up kissing Franny's mother, Beverly, an act that eventually puts paid to both their marriages and joins the Cousins and Keating children in one big, genuinely affectionate bunch who look askance at their parents. When an adult Franny reveals her family's backstory to famed author Leon Posen, he turns it into a must-read book, which forces the siblings to reevaluate their lives together. With a 500,000-copy first printing and a 22-city tour.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal Praise for Commonwealth:
    "Patchett brings humanity, humor, and a disarming affection to lovable, struggling characters... Irresistible."
  • New York Times "Exquisite... Commonwealth is impossible to put down."
  • New York Times Book Review "(A) rich and engrossing new novel ..."
  • Booklist "Indeed, this is Patchett's most autobiographical novel, a sharply funny, chilling, entrancing, and profoundly affecting look into one family's "commonwealth," its shared affinities, conflicts, loss, and love."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "...a funny, sad, and ultimately heart-wrenching family portrait...Patchett elegantly manages a varied cast of characters...[Patchett is] at her peak in humor, humanity, and understanding people in challenging situations."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "The prose is lean and inviting...A satisfying meat-and-potatoes domestic novel from one of our finest writers."
  • Marie Claire "Wonderfully executed..."
  • Pop Sugar "Commonwealth is a smart, thoughtful novel about the ties that bind us."
  • BookPage "Commonwealth is an all-American family saga, but her touching and even-handed approach to themes such as family politics, love, the role of literature and the acidic nature of lies is buoyed by a generous sprinkling of matter-of-fact humor"
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Commonwealth bursts with keen insights into faithfulness, memory and mortality... [An] ambitious American epic..."
  • Washington Post "Patchett's storytelling has never seemed more effortlessly graceful. This is minimalism that magically speaks volumes..."
  • Hampton Sheet "Commonwealth represents yet another victory for Patchett. Readers will fly through it... the tale is so rich and the plot is so wildly addicting, readers won't be able to put it down until they've turned the final page."
  • San Francisco Chronicle "The genius of the way Patchett approached Commonwealth is that it's constructed like a puzzle... Maybe it's another case of the tried-and-true adage: "Write what you know." Because this book? It's pure gangbusters."
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "moving, beautifully crafted novel..."
  • Kansas City Star "Commonwealth is a sly book about storytelling, a story about a single incident - really two pivotal incidents - spun out over the length of a narrative constructed like a conversation but encompassing decades."
  • USA Today "splendid new novel... Just try to stop reading. And you won't want to. Patchett is in stellar form."
  • Entertainment Weekly "... the emotional intelligence of Patchett's storytelling here feels warmer and richer and more resonant than anything she's done before." Rating: A
  • Wall Street Journal "close obervation, deadpan humor... Chekhov regularly invoked"
  • Houston Chronicle "Patchett gives us funny, flawed characters, and the rich reward of Commonwealth is seeing their lives unfold..."
  • Christian Science Monitor "a wry, compassionate tale"
  • Knoxville News-Sentinel "...to create a story with 10 protagonists that spans 50 years - and at least five settings spread across the globe - is a balancing act that requires immense narrative skill, and Patchett never falters."
  • Los Angeles Times "Reading Commonwealth is a transporting experience... It feels like Patchett's most intimate novel and is without doubt one of her best."
  • O, the Oprah Magazine "Wonderful... Patchett is a master storyteller"
  • Seattle Times "Spinning ordinary lives into literary gold"
  • Flavorwire "[A] memorable, modern novel"
  • Dallas Morning News "Ann Patchett's gifts are more clear than ever in Commonwealth"
  • Spokesman Review "Ann Patchett's moving, beautifully crafted novel"
  • Entertainment Weekly "Patchett's storytelling here feels warmer and richer and more resonant than anything she's done before."
  • Newsday "Patchett's slyly knowing voice - full of wit and warmth - elevates every page of this novel - one that, through the alchemy of her writing, somehow feels more than the sum of its parts."
  • Asheville Citizen-Times "Surprising, nuanced, complex and, above all, genuine."
  • Woman's Day "I couldn't put down Ann Patchett's terrific new novel..."
  • Roanoke Times "Patchett's insight into the practical and emotional impacts of uprooting families is impressive... candid, poignant, humorous..."
  • Chicago Now.com "a captivating family drama"
  • Curled Up - Luan Gain's Review "Patchett cuts to the heart of existence in the age of divorce"
  • Curled Up - Michael Leonard's Review "[An] achingly real tale"
  • Read It Forward "a family drama with a hint of metafiction at its heart."
  • The Entertainment Report "Patchett brings every character in Commonwealth to luminous...

Title Information+

  • Publisher
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:

Digital Rights Information+

  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.


You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?


Recommendation Limit Reached.

You have reached the maximum number of titles you are allowed to recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 days.


Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend this title for your digital library.


Enhanced Details:


Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.




There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.


The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.



Total holds:



Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.


MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.


Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.


You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.


Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.


You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.


This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.


An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.



NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Recommend this title for your digital library
Ann Patchett
Buy it now
and support our digital library!
Ann Patchett
A portion of your purchase goes to support your digital library.
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel

Sora Turbo
Get the app!
Apple App Store
Google Play Store
Brought to you by Kennett High School, and built with 💕 by OverDrive.

Renewing this title won't extend your lending period. Instead, it will let you borrow the title again immediately after your first lending period expires.


You can't renew this title because there are holds on it. However, you can join the holds list and be notified when it becomes available for you to borrow again.