"In an unnamed South American country, a world-renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan. His hosts hope that Mr. Hosokawa can be persuaded to build a factory in their Third World backwater. Alas, in the opening sequence, just as the accompanist kisses the soprano, a ragtag band of 18 terrorists enters the vice-presidential mansion through the air conditioning ducts. Their quarry is the president, who has unfortunately stayed home to watch a favorite soap opera. And thus, from the beginning, things go awry.
Joined by no common language except music, the 58 international hostages and their captors forge unexpected bonds. Time stands still, priorities rearrange themselves. Ultimately, of course, something has to give, even in a novel so imbued with the rich imaginative potential of magic realism. But in a fractious world, Bel Canto remains a gentle reminder of the transcendence of beauty and love. --Victoria Jenkins"
I liked this book. I started reading it while flying home from a trip – once I got home, I put it down for a couple of weeks – busy! Then picked it up without having to review it. Very memorable and full of wonderful quotes.
“For a man to know what he has when he had it, that is what makes him a fortunate man.”
“Maybe there would be a bad outcome for some of the others but no-one was going to shoot a soprano.”
“It’s easier to love a woman when you can’t understand a word she’s saying.”
The quote that immediately reminded me of my husband:
“But together they moved through the world quite easily, two small halves of courage making a brave whole.”
The reader continually hopes for the fairy tale ending. If one is thinking logically one knows it can’t turn out well for everyone, but there is still hope.
It’s so easy to see the Stockholm Syndrome at work and how one could easily (?) fall into the thinking of acceptance.
Music lovers will especially enjoy the “Lyrics” of this book.
You can read about Ann Patchett H.E.R.E.