I loved Bel Canto. I have read it before and enjoyed several other Ann Patchett books. She is able to very quickly establish a group of characters with distinct personalities. In this story, a group of people with varied backgrounds, different cultures, different ages and different reasons to be in the country, are all at a soiree with an opera singer as guest performer. A group of unhappy local people come in unexpectedly and keep the group hostage for many months. We meet individual hostages and hostage takers as they spend the time together. There are light moments of humour and deeper moments of insight into reactions from both sides. The ending is quick with an unexpected twist. Relationships unexpectedly develop. Hard to say more without giving away too much. A really good read.