Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Harper Perennial, 2005
352 pages, 3 stars
ABOUT THE BOOK: Bel Canto is a story that begins with a terrorist attack. In a South American country, many people gather for Mr. Hosokawa’s, the CEO of a major Japanese tech company, birthday. The famous American soprano singer, Roxanne Coss, is performing some of Mr. Hosokawa’s favorite opera music when the lights go out and the terrorists descend from the air vents. Forced into a hostage situation for four plus months, the terrorists and the hostages almost forget their differences. The translator, Gen, falls in love with a female terrorist, another terrorist is taught to play chess, another is taught to sing by the famous opera singer. With no common language, except music, the hostages and terrorists form both romantic and brotherly bonds, brotherly love, and other various bonds form between characters who would otherwise have never met. I have zero problems with this book except that it was slow going. It didn’t grab my attention until the last 100 pages. And then I thought the ending was a little too Hollywood.
ABOUT THE OUTFIT: My dear little music lover, sling this Betsey Johnson piano purse over your shoulder on the big night. Your accompanist is completely in love with you, just like everyone else in the world. Though you don’t love him back, this purse shows your appreciation for his work.
This long black evening gown is perfect for Mr. Hosokawa’s black tie affair. The sheer skirt gives it a modern twist and will keep your legs cool in the South American heat. Pair the dress with this yellow dinner jacket (for the dinner party!), which is sharp and tailored. These teal high heeled sandals are beautiful, but quite uncomfortable. Wear them anyway, since you’ll just take them off when the terrorists swoop in.
This necklace reminds you of your imprisonment when you blur the line between hostage and friend to the terrorists. Add this love charm to the necklace. You know your heart will be broken but for now all you can feel is the wonder of being in love for the first time. This red lipstick is the color of your hair, it’s as bright, flamboyant and lovely as you.