|I wasn't nuts about the cover of the book.|
It had Oranges on it. Here are some different Oranges!
Time jumps all over the place in this novel. If you are looking for a nice linear story, Commonwealth is not for you. What it does have is one day, or two, really, where the lives of two families are forever changed. The impact of these events shows up in each character in different ways, - some predictable, some not so much. Patchett gives us extraordinary insight into how the family copes (or avoids coping) mostly through their interactions with each other over their lifetimes. It is both sad and hopeful. This is an honest look at ourselves and how we get through life via the experience of this other family. It is not judgmental or harsh, yet certainly it could happen to anyone. It is not necessarily a morality play either. It simply looks at the situation as it is.
I was really excited to read another novel by Ann Patchett, having really enjoyed Bel Canto. This is an entirely different book, however. I do recognize her voice, but the completely different direction she took with this novel really shows what a versatile writer she is.