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Wednesday, November 30, 2016 | Permalink

Editor's Note: Looking for a gift for a reader on your list? The CapRadio Team has some recommendations: http://www.capradio.org/events/capradio-reads/holiday-gift-selections-2016/

Thanksgiving is behind us, but Christmas is just around the corner, so I want to give you at least one more choice for a gift for the readers on your list.  If there was one book that stood out this year, other than one written by Anthony Marra that is, it would be Commonwealth by Ann Patchett.  As book club people, you probably read Her Bel Canto years ago.  She has had many great books since, but Commonwealth is really quite un-Patchett like, and therefore, even more interesting.  The book starts out in 1960's Los Angeles.   Beverly and Fix Keating are having a christening party for their new daughter Franny.  Fix is a local cop and a man he barely knows, Bert Cousins, married, shows up uninvited, with a bottle of gin as a gift, kisses lovely Beverly, sparking an affair, and the two families are off to the races.  It's a domestic story in the loosest sense of the word, and Commonwealth plays a large part.  Virginia, where the Cousins family lands, is of course a Commonwealth, as is the larger nature of our country, and a portion of population considers themselves a Commonwealth, but Patchett lets her readers decide what is meant by the title.  There are hints throughout the book, but insights gained by the reader are just that, clues.  It's a novel alive with provocative suggestions,  but Patchett gives her reader credit for being smart and intuitive, so she doesn't give too much away.  This book is for the smart, intuitive readers on your list. Beware, they may disappear after opening it, and not reappear until they have finished the book.

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