Michelle's Reviews > Bel Canto

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
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's review
Jun 22, 2012

it was amazing
Read from June 23 to 30, 2012

This is my favourite kind of book where everyone - reader included - is bewitched by extraordinary happenings. Based on the Japanese embassy hostage crisis in Peru in the 90s, the ambassadorial residence is so cut adrift from real life, hostages and terrorists alike transform into a self dependent community, almost deliberately forgetful of the outside world.

I became as spellbound as the hapless hostages and fey terrorists. I willfully forgot the months unravelling behind them as they carved out new lives in their parallel dimension, the magnificent mansion shrouded in mist. I rejoiced as their new roles surfaced, from French ambassador to chicken dinner chef, junior terrorist to chess champ, Japanese middle manager to piano accompanist, nervous terrorist to opera singer aspirant, and Vice President to housekeeper.

Without the epilogue, this would be a near perfect book.
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