One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them. When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another. Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.
Энн Пэтчетт родилась в 1963 году в Лос-Анджелесе. В возрасте шести лет переехала с семьей в Нэшвилл. После окончания колледжа занималась журналистикой. Ее первый роман "Святой покровитель лжецов", вышедший в 1992 году, удостоился высокой оценки литературной критики. С тех пор Пэтчетт написала еще шесть романов и три нехудожественные книги, получила целый ряд престижных литературных наград, в том числе премию Orange, премию ПЕН/Фолкнер и премию Американской ассоциации книготорговцев. В 2011 году она открыла в Нэшвилле собственный книжный магазин "Парнас". Энн сотрудничает со многими ведущими изданиями – New York Times, Harper's, Washington Post, Vogue и другими. В 2012 году журнал Time включил Энн Пэтчетт в список 100 самых влиятельных людей в мире. Роман "Бельканто" был переведен на 30 языков и разошелся в мире тиражом более миллиона экземпляров. Энн живет в Нэшвилле с мужем Карлом Ван Девендером и собакой Спарки.
Date of Birth:
December 2, 1963
Place of Birth:
Los Angeles, California
B.A., Sarah Lawrence College, 1985; M.F.A., University of Iowa, 1987
The children were seated across the aisle from one another, the boys on the left and the girls on the right, and each was given a set of junior airman wings, which only Cal refused to wear. They were glad to be on the plane, glad to be free of direct supervision for six hours. As much as they hated to leave their mother — they were unquestionably loyal to their mother — the four Cousins children thought of themselves as Virginians, even the youngest two, who had been born after the family's move west. All of the Cousins children hated California. They were sick of being shoved down the hallways of the Torrance Unified School District. They were sick of the bus that picked them up on the corner every morning, and sick of the bus driver who would not cut them a break, even thirty seconds, if they were made late by Albie's dawdling. They were sick of their mother, no matter how much they loved her, because she had on occasion cried when they returned to the house after missing the bus. Now she would be late for work. She went over it all again in the car as she drove them to school at terrifying speeds — she had to work, they couldn't live on what their father gave them, she couldn't afford to lose this job just because they weren't responsible enough to walk to the goddamn corner on time. They blocked her out by pinching Albie, whose screams filled the car like mustard gas. More than anything they were sick of Albie, who had spilled his Coke all over the place and was at this very moment kicking the seat in front of him on the plane. Everything that happened was his fault. But they were sick of Cal too. He got to wear the house key on a dirty string around his neck because their mother told him it was his job to get everybody home after school and make them a snack. Cal was sick of doing it, and on most days he locked his sisters and brother out for at least an hour so that he could watch the television shows that he wanted to watch and clear his head. There was a hose on the side of the house and shade beneath the carport. It wasn't like they were going to die. When their mother came home from work they met her at the door screaming about the tyranny of their situation. They lied about having done their homework, except for Holly, who always did her homework, sometimes sitting Indian-style under the carport with her books in her lap, because she lived for the positive reinforcement her teachers heaped on her. They were sick of Holly and the superiority of her good grades. Really, the only person they weren't sick of was Jeanette, and that was because they never thought about her. She had retreated into a silence that any parent would have asked a teacher or a pediatrician about had they noticed it, but no one noticed. Jeanette was sick of that.
They reclined their seats as far back as they could go. They asked for playing cards and ginger ale. They reveled in the sanctuary of an airplane which was for the time being neither in California nor Virginia, the only two places they had ever been in their lives.
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