Friday, September 18, 2009

Bel Canto

by Ann Patchett

A suspenseful romantic story of a soiree gone wrong. A wealthy Japanese businessman, Mr. Hosokawa, is thrown a birthday party by a South American Vice President in order to gain his favor so that he might construct factories in their country. To lure Mr. Hosokawa to the affair, the Vice President hires the Japanese man's favorite opera soprano, Roxanne Coss, to entertain.

Diplomats from all over the world are invited to the event, including the President of the country, though he does not attend. What starts out as a lovely evening of music and dining eventually turns disastrous as the party is taken over by terrorists hoping to kidnap the President.

The situation starts out as terrifying and chaotic, but evolves into something quite different. The terrorists and guests create relationships that would have been unheard of if not for the unique circumstance. Friendship, kindess, compassion, and even love blossom in the most unlikely of ways.

Beautifully written and compelling.


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