Lucy’s review of Bel Canto > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by KED (new)

KED As someone who LOVED this book, I have to say I didn't hate the epilogue, and it seems like I'm the only one. I also thought it was not a happy, let's-wrap-it-up-neat-and-tidy ending. I thought it was meant to be tragic and sad. That they were both so desperately trying to cling to the the scraps of the person they loved and lost that they married the only person who could remind them and understand. It was a sad resignation that they would never love again and to enter into a life-long companionship rather than to try to move on from the grief.


message 2: by Dee (new)

Dee i totally agree with your comment about the epilogue, but you might want to mark that as a spoiler, since its pivotal to the story and if I hadn't read the book, and read your review, I'd be extremely fustrated by that


message 3: by Elfear (new)

Elfear I think that I needed some kind of epilogue to provide some closure. But Gen and Roxanne together was just weird. Also I agree with Dee that this was a bit of spoiler! Please at least note earlier that there will be spoilers.


message 4: by Janine (new)

Janine Barzyk Ackerman Just finished this book and I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that thinks the Epilogue was crazy...


message 5: by She' (new)

She' M Terrorists taking parties hostage has been a common theme in Central / South America. Something similar also happened in Nicaragua. With that in mind, I think it makes the story more believable instead of just loosely based on real events.


message 6: by Angie (new)

Angie Hood I love ethereal, romantic writing. Perhaps that's what I love about this book. The epilogue was hard to swallow but made me take a hard look at what I would do in that situation...


message 7: by Danica (new)

Danica "SO much emphasis placed on opera, as if it's the universal band-aid. " Couldn't have said it better myself!


message 8: by Amie (new)

Amie I've been waiting to read your whole review until I finished the book. I agree with you, again....


message 9: by Tiffini (new)

Tiffini This is the exact review I would have written if I were as eloquent as you. Well done.


message 10: by April (new)

April KED I like your reasoning for Gen and Roxane getting married. Even though I have a need for closure I Gen and Roxane together doesn't make sense.


message 11: by Erin (new)

Erin I read this review AFTER reading the book and I agree with Tiffini... this is the review I would have written had I been able to form the words so well!!


message 12: by Maceline (new)

Maceline Thanks for the spoilers. Won't be reading it now. Be careful people. Please.


message 13: by Kelli (new)

Kelli I think this book is best enjoyed if you have watched a dozen or more operas because instead of thinking "too much opera" the reader thinks that the story is all about Opera. I'm not sure if I can explain this well but in operas big stories happen quickly. People fall in love, plot, betray one another, and the story ends in a bloody duel or suicide without much character development. The music in opera is all about conveying emotions so the emotions in a story are brought to the forefront too quickly for a film or other entertainment venue. For example the intensity of the relationship between Mimi and Rodulfo in La Boheme would come off as ridiculous without Puccinni's music. In Bel Canto the characters are stuck in an intense situation and can not communicate so there is no way to connect emotionally. The music provides the expression of emotions that the characters can connect with. The music brings them together just like the diverse crowd in the audience at the opera house. Lyric Opera Chicago often interviews patrons as they leave the building to create a promotional clip. When asked what they loved about the show, they often speak of the emotions. The story in Bell Canto flowed like an opera (a slow one) to me, that's what made it smart.

I also didn't like the epilogue because I felt that the reader should have been left in that final operatic scene.

A composer from South America,Jimmy Lopez, has created an opera from this book and it will premier in Chicago next month. I expect the epilogue to be absent.


message 14: by Kelli (new)

Kelli A composer from South America,Jimmy Lopez, has created an opera from this book and it will premier in Chicago next month. I expect the epilogue to be absent.


message 15: by Frosty (new)

Frosty Freya Your review is so incisive and I can't dispute a single point. And yet. I loved the book. I even gave it 5 stars. I feel like I should downgrade it but not yet, while I'm still under the spell. I loved that this book dismissed in a second all the monsterization of "terrorists", as though they couldn't possibly be human (unlike our wonderful compatriots-with-license-to-kill). I love it when words fill with fragrances and tastes and textures and harmonies, and I'll willingly suspend disbelief to submit to the ministrations of an author who can massage them as Patchett does in this fiction. A wonderful read, as is your review which eased me back to reality and reminded me that it was all just a fanciful dream.


message 16: by Lisa (last edited Dec 25, 2016 01:22PM) (new)

Lisa Frosty ... you stated exactly how I'm feeling after reading this wonderful review!!! I loved the book and want to like it still, but this review by Lucy, woah, you are so right! and so funny!


message 17: by Fred (new)

Fred R I also had reservations about the epilogue, but the next morning I reflected that I have never been held hostage for five or six months with a group of gifted international (mostly) male captives and young, fairly malleable captors. Four and a half stars isn't a choice, so I'm sticking with five.


message 18: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Wow! Thanks for mentioning the real life event in Peru. It was interesting to read this article and see all the parallels - http://mobile.nytimes.com/1997/04/26/...


message 19: by Kellee (new)

Kellee Thanks for sharing the New York Times article!


message 20: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Lazar "Most days there was something she wanted, and while the Generals could care less..."

COULD care less? How could Ms. Patchett make this egregious, jarring error?


message 21: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Elaine, would you explain the egregiousness of this error? I want to be as offended as you! =)


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