Amazon calculates a product’s star ratings using a machine learned model instead of a raw data average. The machine learned model takes into account factors including: the age of a review, helpfulness votes by customers and whether the reviews are from verified purchases.
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.
I picked this book by accident but it was terrific. The hostages and the terrorists find each others’ humanity in this story that is a good one to read while you’re in lockdown. It’s a kind of parable I think, with a hopeful message. Great characterisations, wonderful writing, a real gem.
Roxanne Coss, an opera singer at the height of her powers performs for dignitaries in a banana republic. Revolutionaries take everyone hostage and make demands. As the days stretch into weeks, kidnappers and hostages form mesmerising friendships and bonds. This was far less about the state of tension, and much more about psychology and character and it all centred around Roxanne and her spectacular voice. The writing and insights were beautiful, and the story delightful and charming yet gripping and devastating.