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Bel Canto

Paperback Book
HarperCollins Publishers
July, 2005
$21.00 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

If you are looking for a wonderful book, which encompasses a gripping situation, fleshed-out characters and a surprising tenderness, read Bel Canto written by American novelist Ann Patchett.   This novel was inspired by a hostage taking in
Lima, Peru in 1996 at the Japanese Embassy.

This story is set in an unnamed country at a birthday party thrown at the country's vice-presidential home.  The party is for Katsumi Hosokawa, the visiting chairman of a large Japanese electronics company called Nansei.  Performing at the party it the famous American soprano, Roxane Cross.  During the party, members of a terrorist organization break into the house looking for the president.  When  it is discovered that the president is not at the party the terrorist group decides to take every one hostage.  What begins as a life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different.  Friendship, compassion and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.  At once riveting and impassioned, the narrative becomes a moving exploration of how people from different countries and continents become compatriots when music is the only common language.

This book was awarded the
's Orange Prize for Fiction, which celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in Women’s writing from across the globe. It also won the PEN Faulkner award which is awarded to the year's best work of fiction by a living American citizen.

Publisher’s Description: 

Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening -- until a band of gunwielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots, intimate friends, and lovers.

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