Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

How I Heard About It:  To get ready for my summer road trip to #NerdCampMI in early July, I stocked up on audio books so I would have lots of choices in the car.  This has been a title that I have been aware of for years.  I just never put it at the top of my list.  When I saw the audio of it, I decided to finally give it a shot.  

What It Is About:  The story begins with a large birthday party being held in a South American mansion.  The party is in honor of a Japanese diplomat.  Inside the mansion, are terrorists who want to take the President hostage.  Little do they know, the President has decided not to show up at the party and has sent the Vice-President instead.  One of the most famous guests is a famous American Opera singer.  As soon as she finishes her performance, the hostage situation begins.  Eventually all the women except the singer are released.  The terrorists keep the remaining guests in the home for days, weeks, and finally months.  There are many unique relationships and developments between the hostages, the terrorists, and the American singer.  

What I Thought Of It:  So many readers raved about this story that I had high hopes for it.  Sometimes when they happens, the actual story doesn't measure up to all the "hype."  I would have to say that happened with this particular book.  It just didn't grab me like I thought it would and overall the plot didn't captivate me like I know it has for many readers.  I'm not sure if it was because of the narrator on the audio, or just the plot line.  There were some interesting moments throughout the pages that kept me listening.  While writing this post, I got a call from my sister and mentioned I was reviewing the book and she praised it as one of her favorites.  

Who Should Read It:  There are many readers who put this novel at the top of their "favorite" list.  Just because that didn't happen for me, I still think there are many people who will enjoy this story.  Adult readers who enjoy a detailed fictional tale of intrigue, secrets, and suspense will find this a satisfying read.  Ann Patchett does an incredible job of describing her characters so readers of charter driven stories, will also be a great audience for the novel.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  3 STARS out of 5 Stars

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