For this month’s selection, we have chosen a magnificent book by the very talented Ann Patchett, Bel Canto.
“In an unnamed South American country, a world-renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan. His hosts hope that Mr. Hosokawa can be persuaded to build a factory in their Third World backwater. Alas, in the opening sequence, just as the accompanist kisses the soprano, a ragtag band of 18 terrorists enters the vice-presidential mansion through the air conditioning ducts. Their quarry is the president, who has unfortunately stayed home to watch a favorite soap opera. And thus, from the beginning, things go awry.
Joined by no common language except music, the 58 international hostages and their captors forge unexpected bonds. Time stands still, priorities rearrange themselves. Ultimately, of course, something has to give, even in a novel so imbued with the rich imaginative potential of magic realism. But in a fractious world, Bel Canto remains a gentle reminder of the transcendence of beauty and love.” - Victoria Jenkins
These two questions are to be pondered while reading the book; we will go over them at length the first day of the discussion:
- What is it about Roxane Coss that makes such an impression on the other hostages and the terrorists? Is it merely that she is famous? How does her singing and the music relate to the story?
- Roxane and Mr. Hosokawa speak different languages and require Gen to translate their conversations. Do you think it’s possible to fall in love with someone to whom you cannot speak directly?
- BBC will start on Monday and end on Wednesday of the last week of each month. Five days turned out to be too much—even for us! LOL
- We’ll be posting the first questions when we announce BBC selection for the month. As soon as you finish reading the chosen book, you can email us your replies and ask for the other questions which we’ll supply for you to answer. We’ll then post your answers in the comments when BBC starts.
- Please NO discussions of the BBC selection in the tagboard!
- We are open to suggestions and ideas of how to improve our book club. Feel free to email us with comments and/or pictures of gorgeous naked men!