Commonwealth Summary
Ann Patchett

Everything you need to understand or teach Commonwealth by Ann Patchett.

  • Commonwealth Summary & Study Guide

Commonwealth Overview

Ann Patchett’s novel Commonwealth chronicles the interwoven histories of the Keating and Cousins family following a chance encounter between Beverly Keating and Albert Cousins. This event leads to the dissolution of both their marriages and subsequent upheaval in the lives of all six children and four adults. Years later, Franny Keating tells her family her story to the novelist Leon Posen, who in turn makes her family story the focus of his masterpiece novel, Commonwealth. Patchett follows the Keating and Cousins families through several decades in a non-linear narrative to explore the nature of memory, family relationships, love, loyalty, and the ownership of stories.

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