Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I liked so much about this book. I realize that it had many improbable moments, but I liked the concept of music being a common ground between people. The terrorists became people in the book and developed a relationship with their hostages.
There were some things I wished were changed. I know it is based loosly on a similar situation in Peru. I would like to have the reasons these people became terrorists explored more. I think it would have made the individual relationships more explainable. What did the three generals believe in? We get only a vague hint at their demmands. We hear a lot about the other lives of the hostages, but the terrorists, especially the generals seemed to have no platform.
As with others, I did not like the epilogue. There wasn't enough to support it. There needed to be more of a connection built up between Roxane and Gen; a bond that would have made it plausable for the two, who had just lost their lovers, to turn to each other. I could see them realizing that they never would be able to relate to anyone but each other because of this common experience, but there wasn't any understructure to support this.
That said, I felt like it was a wonderful book and I loved reading it. It sent me to my computer to find the "Bel Canto" of the book. I listened to many of the pieces of music that was mentioned and loved the ones that were familiar and enjoyed the ones I had never heard. I can understand how people who would have had no interest in Opera could have loved Roxane's singing. Once you enter into the music, you have to be amazed at the incredible beauty of the talented and well trained human voice.
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