May book review – Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

My Rating : 2.5 stars

Book & Author : Commonwealth/ Ann Patchett

Genre : Fiction/Drama


I know this is a New York Times bestseller and I haven’t read any other books by Ann Patchett yet and that this was recommended on a couple of the book clubs I’m a member of – but I was quite disappointed by the book. 

If you’ve read my book rating process, I like books that keep me on the edge, or make me laugh, or have brilliant content or teach me something new. Commonwealth failed to deliver on most of these areas for me.

The things I liked about the book:

  • Ease of read, well written and can easily be read on a beach or while on a road trip
  • Although it spanned different timelines, it was easy to keep track of all the characters and their ages
  • Although the ending didn’t live up to my expectations, the author had built up enough interest in my mind to want to continue reading through the book

Things that didn’t work for me in this book:

  • It was so negative and depressing! I already have a lot on my plate dealing with daily chores and when I read a book, I want the book to take me to a different place or make me feel more positive by the end of it- and this did neither
  • I didn’t learn anything new- life, death, adultery, separation, failures- we all already know that most people go through them in their lifetime. But what else? The book didn’t tell me how a character dealt with any of the issues or grew or changed from it. Most of the characters in the book seemed very average to me, who just dealt with the circumstances by moving on with life
  • I didn’t understand the point of the book- what was the author trying to convey? And I didn’t enjoy the characters either. You start to like a few characters like Fix and Teresa but then you don’t get to know enough about them or their lives 

So all in all, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone unless you want to spend an entire book club discussion on talking about things that happen to all of us anyway – in life. Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on the book?

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