Oh, Bel Canto.
I had high hopes for you. I bought you on a whim, was intrigued by your cover, and was ultimately disappointed.
Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto is about a group of well-to-do people who are brought together for the birthday party of a powerful Japanese businessman in the South American home of the Vice President. They are all to be treated to the voice of a highly acclaimed opera singer. The Japanese businessman, Mr. Hosokawa brings along his translator, Gen. At the end of the birthday party, a group of terrorists break in hoping to capture the President, but he was unable to attend, so instead they take the whole group hostage… for MONTHS.
Friendships are discovered, boundaries are crossed, and relationships are formed. They are all united by the beautiful voice of the opera singer. I was somewhat interested in the book throughout most of it, but it wasn’t until the very end that I decided I didn’t like it. The ending made me scratch my head. It just didn’t seem that plausible to me.
Apparently it is based off a true events, which makes it a little bit more interesting... but not enough so that I would actually recommend this to anyone.
I enjoyed reading the book while listening to different opera pieces though, it was great background music and, whenever a new piece was brought up in the book, I would look it up to have it in my ear while I read.
I wasn’t looking for a happy ending. I knew it wasn’t going to have one. But the ending I did get was just… strange. And unexplained. It was like Patchett thought I should have just KNOWN that’s how it would end up.
On to reading!