Friday, December 11, 2009

Ann Patchett: Bel Canto

Bel Canto: A
fiction, love story

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 international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening — until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots. 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.

Have you ever read a book where your heart gets so involved, you're a little heartbroken when you finish reading the book?

That's kind of what this read was for me.

It was beautiful. The writing was lyrical, the characters were so real and so wonderful.

I really loved this story. I loved, loved Gen (the multilingual, genius translator) and I loved his love, Carmen, I loved Mr. Hosokawa and Roxane. I loved the terrorist group who attacked the group of special, important people in the rich estate in an unmentioned South American country.

You'd think that the story would get boring after the people have been trapped inside said rich estate for months, but it gets more intricate. Ms. Patchett is able to delve into the human consciousness so brilliantly, I forgive her for having two whole pages of writing without indenting for paragraphs.

However, the book wasn't perfect.

I was unsatisfied with the ending (which is why I wouldn't give the book an A+). It was very bittersweet and very... haunting. I couldn't get over the ending of the book, as in, I kept on thinking about it over and over again. In fact, I couldn't think about anything else for the next couple of days.

I believe I scared some of my co-workers by groaning (out of the middle of nowhere), smacking my head, and going, "Augh, I cannot believe it ended like that!"

Readers, it was a great work of fiction and you must read it.

In fact, read it and let me know so that we can discuss the book *cough*theending*cough* together.