Bel Canto


As stated in my last post, I have read four books since my wisdom teeth have been removed.  The following are the books I have read: The Memorist, The Hypnotist, If Only in My Dreams, and Bel Canto.  While there were all very good, I want to focus on my favorite: Bel Canto.  This book is by the author, Ann Patchett.  It is a very, very good read.

The plot of this book is about terrorists who take over a birthday party in which a president is supposed to be at, and an opera singer happens to be singing at.  The president isn’t in attendance, so the terrorists end up taking all the guests, and the opera singer as hostages.  For a course of four months, these guests and the opera singer live in this house under the watch of the terrorists.

The book touches on the sensuality and calming qualities of music.  Every time the opera singer sings, peace and tranquility seems to come to the entire house.  Everyone is taken aback by the beauty of her music.  Everyone seems to forget the point, and terror, of what is occurring.

The main point I believe this book makes is that of the presence of love among war and difficult times.  That even though these times exist, love is always there.  In this book, there is the love for music.  There is also love relationships that develop between unlikely characters.  It is hinted that the status and worth of a person is not what makes love occur.  Love can occur in the smallest of places and among complete opposites of people.  This is all summed up by my favorite quote in this book.  This quote is said by the character, Roxane Coss (the opera singer) and is that of this: “If someone loves you for who you are then they have to know you, which means you have to know them.”

Reflecting on this quote, I garner the idea that love is always an undertone in war and desperation because those who go through it together get to know each other on a more intimate level.  Through this past year of my depression and grief, this is most certainly true.  My love for certain people in my life, as well as my way of showing love, has blossomed.  We have had to share our deepest thoughts and worries during this time.  We have had to get to know each other more intimately.  We have had to love.

This book is now an opera, which was coordinated by Renee Fleming and the Lyric Opera in Chicago.  As far as I know, it debuted last month at this opera house.  After reading the book, I would be very interested in seeing the opera.  The book is well worth the read.  It definitely earned it’s place as a New York Times Bestseller and has earned it’s place in my top reads list as well.


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