Hi book clubbers!! November’s Honest Project Book Club is in session. This month’s book is Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. I cannot wait to hear what you thought of it. If you haven't read Commonwealth yet, this post contains spoilers so maybe hold off on reading this until you are finished the book.
To join in the book club discussion, just leave a comment at the end of this blog post and feel free to comment on other people's comments too.
Commonwealth is a story of two families, the Cousins and the Keatings, who are brought together when Bert Cousins and Beverly Keating kiss at the Californian christening of the Keatings’ youngest daughter, Franny. This sets in motion two divorces, the movement of the newly formed family to Virginia and two sets of siblings spending their summers together. Commonwealth is a collection of short stories from the point of view of different characters in the novel and told over a period of five decades that come together to bring us a moving and at times heart-breaking story. Commonwealth is about family, divorce, separations, sibling relationships, children, dysfunction, tragedy and the passing of time.
I have to admit that I didn’t find Commonwealth compelling from the start. It was hard to keep track of the characters and I could have done with a family tree to help me. However, half way through the book, something clicks and suddenly I became enthralled and couldn’t put it down. It’s hard to sum up this book. It’s a beautiful story of family, divorce, emotion and the passing of time. A definite must read.
So please share your thoughts?
1. First of all, did you like the book? If yes, why and if no, why not?
2. Which of the children did you feel most drawn to – Cal, Holly, Jeanette, Albie, Caroline or Franny? Which did you feel was most affected by the divorces?
3. How did you think the book explored the merging of two families in the wake of divorce and the effect it has on the children.
4. Did you feel that Franny and Leon Posen’s relationship was believable?
5. The chapter based in Amagansett was filled with characters from the publishing world that were not portrayed in the most positive of lights. Did you feel that the author was having a swipe at the publishing world with this chapter?
6. Which is your favourite chapter? I loved when the children visited the lake unbeknown to Bert and Beverley.
8. Who was your favourite character?
9. Did you judge the parents through the standards by which we now expect parents to behave?
Thanks so much for reading this book with me this month. Please let me know your thoughts on this book in the comments below. I'll be sharing December's book choice with you later this week, so keep an eye out. If anyone has any recommendations for books for the New Year, I'd love to hear them.
Happy reading, Frances xx