Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bel Canto

Title: Bel Canto

Author: Ann Patchett

Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics

ISBN: 9780061565311

Pages: 318

Obtained: Library "book club kit" copy

Why this book?:

It was for a book club discussion I was observing (because I'll be leading a different discussion soon).


Going into this I knew absolutely nothing about it except that I knew it had some opera element.  I was not expecting a terrorist/hostage situation.  While this isn't a book I normally would have chosen for myself, it was interesting.  The beginning was a little slow, as the situation is being set up, but it was fine once I stuck with it.

Here's the thing.  I didn't finish this by the time the book club came around.  So I knew about things, including the end, before I read them.  (Though there's mention of how it will end in the first chapter, so I kinda already knew.  But I didn't have details until the book club.)

I finished the book anyway.  The opera wasn't what I thought it would be in the story, but I found it interesting.  I liked the characters (even though someone in the book club said she couldn't empathize with them).  I accepted the story, the writing style, and the inevitable ending.  But I had to agree with the other people in the discussion - the epilogue was jarring.  I would have preferred it had been cut before the book was published.  It was, I guess, supposed to tie up loose ends.  But they would have been better left for the reader to imagine.

So that's it.  I guess it is the type of book you need to decide for yourself.

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