peteg's blog - noise - books - 2016 10 13 AnnPatchett Commonwealth

Ann Patchett: Commonwealth.

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Kindle. An account of blended, broken families stretching fifty years. Patchett writes well and the thing is ably, intricately constructed, but she has too many characters on the table to satisfyingly draw them all. Piling on the events is a poor substitute, as she more-or-less admits by observing that beautiful mother Beverly has no personality of her own. The chapters come in Pulp Fiction order, and the palliative scenes are less imaginative than those of Magnolia.

Carmel Bird is right that the gun does not go off. Curtis Sittenfeld at the New York Times.