Genre: Literary Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Audiobook Length: 11 hours and 20 minutes
First Published: 2001
In South America, famous opera singer Roxane Cross entertains the crowd gathered at the Vice President’s home to celebrate the birthday of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Until terrorists storm the party taking everyone hostage. What begins as a terrifying ordeal morphs into something poignant as individuals from different backgrounds begin to bond together.
While the premise of terrorists seizing hostages at a diplomatic party sounds thrilling, in reality, it’s not. Bel Canto is a slow literary piece that took me quite a long time to get into. However, once I did, I was hooked by the characters and their increasing disconnection from reality. After months of their stalemate situation, the hostages and terrorists find transcendence in their own little Stockholm syndrome utopia, forgetting that things could not remain like that forever.
Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country’s vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. 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 takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots, intimate friends, and lovers.
Patchett’s lyrical prose and lucid imagination make Bel Canto a captivating story of strength and frailty, love and imprisonment, and an inspiring tale of transcendent romance.
Movie Trailer for Bel Canto (2018)
About Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett is the author of eight novels, four nonfiction books, and one children’s book. Her works include The Patron Saint of Liars, Bel Canto, Commonwealth, These Precious Days, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, and The Dutch House. She is the co-owner of the bookstore Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee where she lives with her husband. Visit the author’s website →