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Fiction in brief: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

"This is Patchett’s most ambitious novel to date, yet it is a surprisingly quick read, underpinned by a compelling plot and accessible prose."

By Lucinda Smyth   January 2017

9781408880401Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury, £18.99)

The first remarkable thing about Commonwealth, the seventh novel by Ann Patchett, is its length. For a book that spans five decades, two families and two American states, it is just over 300 pages. This is Patchett’s most ambitious novel to date, yet it is a surprisingly quick read, underpinned by a compelling plot and accessible prose. In the face of so many recent doorstoppers by American novelists, Patchett is refreshing.

Also refreshing is the gin and juice concoction that Bert Cousins rustles up in the first…

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