Tag Archives: Literary Fiction

Review: Commonwealth

Commonwealth

Commonwealth
By Ann Patchett
Harper, Hardcover, 9780062491794,September 2016, 336pp.

The Short of It:

This is a story about two families and how the actions of one night affect them for decades.

The Rest of It:

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. (Indiebound)

Reading has been really difficult for me these past couple of months so I was really excited when I finally sat down to Commonwealth. As tragic as a story like this could be,  it’s not. There’s some sadness but clearly, this is a family that loves each other and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know these characters. Plus, much of it is set in Southern California, which I loved. The story spans decades but never once did I lose interest.

I’m not sure if I will ever get around to posting my “best of” list this year but Commonwealth is definitely on it.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: After the Parade

After the Parade

After the Parade
By Lori Ostlund
Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781476790107, September 22, 2015, 352pp.

The Short of It:

With pain, comes growth.

The Rest of It:

As a young child, Aaron Englund had no idea how his father’s death after a fall from a parade float would affect him in the years to come but when his adult relationship with his beloved Walter ends, he’s forced to take a look at his past.

After the Parade is exactly what I look for in a good read. It’s a quiet story with interesting, quirky characters and unusual situations. When Aaron realizes that he can no longer maintain a relationship with Walter, he moves out and meets a host of people who, although flawed, serve a purpose in his healing.

This is truly a book about relationships. Mother and son, father and son, colleague to colleague, innocent bystanders, etc. I loved how open Aaron was to all of it. He’s a sensible guy and takes his hits as they come but he learns from them too which makes him so relatable. This book is filled with quite “aha” moments. I found myself rereading sections just to let the ideas sink in.

If you are like me and like quiet, meaningful reads then you will enjoy this one. It will be on my list of faves for the year because to me, this was the full package as far as reads go.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.