If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that MamaKat picked her last writer’s workshop prompt just for me. When I read her last prompt (Book review time! What winter read has you snuggled in and turning pages?)….I was about 35 pages from finishing a book. A book that had been recommended by a friend. A book that I could not stop reading. A book that I passed on to another friend as soon as I read the last page.
I can’t stop thinking about this book.
In this book, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, a world-renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a Japanese business man. They have both been invited to an un-named South American country for the event. She comes because she has an opening in her busy touring schedule. He comes because he loves opera (and her beautiful voice in particular).
As soon as the soprano finishes her last piece, the lights are cut and the room is taken over by terrorists. The terrorist group had intended to storm in and kidnap the president, but as luck would have it, he canceled coming to the event at the last minute. The terrorist leaders don’t know quite what to do, and end up deciding that their only option is to hold the party-goers as hostages until their demands are met.
The story of their captivity was fascinating to me. Instead of being a rough, violent story, the book instead focuses on the music that brought them together. There are Japanese, Spanish, Russian, German, French…..and yet they have an understanding through the music. The soprano keeps singing. Friendships are forged. Priorities are reconsidered.
And the ending totally took me by surprise. How often does that happen in a book?
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