Apologies for my tardiness in choosing the September book for the CBG, but after much deliberation, here it is at last.
I should think a lot of people will already have read Ann Patchett's award-winning 2001 novel Bel Canto, and if so they may care to re-visit it for the group read or just participate, when we come to discuss it, from their memories of the book.
For those of us for whom it is new, I'll quote Penelope Lively to set the tone:
"Bel Canto is a tour de force. Gripping and absorbing, I couldn't stop reading",
and then The Times critics Erica Wagner and Christina Konig:
"A cleverly paced, suspenseful novel told with great emotional delicacy ... [and] a powerful, unexpected ending. To be read at a single sitting," and "It is that rarity - a literary novel you simply can't put down."
Here's the blurb -
"Kidnappers storm an international gathering hosted by a poor Latin American country to promote foreign trade. Unfortunately their intended target, the President, has stayed home to watch his favourite soap. The takeover settles into a siege, bringing together an unlikely assortment of hostages, including a beautiful American opera diva, a Japanese CEO who is her biggest fan, and his unassuming translator, Gen. Two couples, complete opposites, fall in love, and a horrific imprisonment is transformed into an unexpected heaven on earth."
Ann Patchett is a fine writer who needs no introduction here, and I have high hopes that this will be a most enjoyable book for us. Let's set the discussion date for Saturday, 22nd September, which is just under 6 weeks hence, so there's plenty of time to get hold of a copy - I doubt there will any difficulty finding one, wherever you are. If you haven't joined in with us before, please do so now if you feel like it by reading the book and giving us your thoughts and impressions, as briefly or as expansively as you wish, on or after the 22nd.