Author: Ann Patchett
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
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.