Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Bel Canto

Reviewed by Anonymous (Library Patron)

How could I have missed this one? Regarded as a classic and giving the author a PEN/Faulkner award Bel Canto is mesmerizing. The setting is at a South American vice-president’s home celebrating the birthday of Mr. Hosokawa with a performance by a most esteemed opera singer. The music theme was uniting in many ways.
However, at the event a band of terrorists take all in attendance hostage. There are unfamiliar languages spoken, and separateness from family members, yet over the course of months various awakening truths are discovered among the many hostages and their captors. They begin to relate in personal ways, ways in which their recent life was unable to experience or even comprehend. Example from a captive about a rebel he loves: “”the woman you love, a girl, who dresses as a boy and she lives in a jungle….she puts her gun beside the gravy boat at night so you can teach her how to read….came into your life through an air-conditioning vent.”” Or “”she sang as though she was saving every life in that room.”” The home’s owner never cooked but had to prepare food. Businessmen who never had time were faced with endless hours. Masks of unhappiness. True selves revealed…..and what an end!

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC PATCHETT)

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