Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
I had high hopes for this book which may have been my downfall. I saw such great reviews for it and even though I usually don't enjoy family sagas, I tried it out. I had a really hard time getting into this book as there was no clear plot line and the timeline was very disjointed. Although this made it seem a bit more like a realistic family, as life isn't always dramatic or fairytale-like, the characters' emotions seemed very superficial and you never really delved deeper into any of their feelings.
The description of this book also states the "children forge a lasting bond", however, once they reach adulthood, only 2 out of the 6 step-siblings ever have any contact and it's minimal at best. This statement was very misleading and I was expecting the children to actually be close or at least involved with each other since they grew up with the struggles of their parents and this new marriage. Overall, not a great read nor one I'd recommend.
Synopsis: 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.