Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Review: Bel Canto
Author: Ann Patchett
Length: 318 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Genre: Literary fiction
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Somewhere in South America at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening until a band of terrorists breaks in, taking the entire party hostage.
But what begins as a life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.
Ann Patchett has written a novel that is as lyrical and profound as it is unforgettable. Bel Canto is a virtuoso performance by one of our best and most important writers.
My Review: This is one that I would like to give 2 1/2 to, one day I'll have to figure out how to do this. :) The writing was beautiful and initially the subject matter; opera, political unrest, psychology of/reaction to being taken hostage, and the relationship of terrorist and hostage was very interesting. Unfortunately, after about halfway through, I found that the story skipped long periods of time, without accounting for them, while simultaneously dragging on. The ending was abrupt and surreal while the epilogue, the true end to the story, didn't feel right to me. I definitely feel like it was worth the read, though and I look forward to reading another of Ann Patchett's books.