Storytelling is fundamental to human life, enabling us to connect, enlighten and entertain. Our narratives repeatedly churn up familiar ground yet change in myriad small ways, depending on the speaker; they are a continually evolving, circular enterprise. So too is Commonwealth, the seventh novel by Ann Patchett.
The book is so named because it centres on the association of two families who merge as a result of divorce, as well as for what belongs to them all: their communal narrative. A lawyer, Bert, attends the christening of a cop’s daughter in Los Angeles and falls in