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Listening to the Silence

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The Owl Killers
Karen Maitland
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Daniel James Brown
Cloud Atlas
David Mitchell

Bel Canto

Bel Canto - Ann Patchett Based on the events of a real-life situation in Peruvian embassy, Bel Canto is a fictional account of the events that transpire during a hostage crisis, after a terrorist organization takes hundreds captive while the celebrate the birthday of a Japanese industrialist. This unnamed South American nation is trying to lure the businessman to build in their poor country, while he is there for one reason only, to listen to his favorite opera singer, Roxanne Cross, perform live, as the host nation's gift. The terrorists are terribly unorganized, and after agreeing to release all the staff and women, excepting the opera diva, they close the house up, leading to a stand-off that lasts for months. While life goes on outside the house, and the government slowly formulates a rescue plan, those inside the house also continue their lives. Strong bonds form, friendships, and even love affairs. But in the end, the conclusion, no matter how hard you hope that it will be different, is foregone. There can only be one end to this story.

I loved nearly everything about this novel and devoured it in two sittings. The writing was lyrical and poetic. I hate to describe books in this fashion, but it was heartbreakingly beautiful. There is so much I wish I could say about it, but this book really defies explanation. However, I meant it when I said I loved nearly everything. There was one piece to the puzzle that just didn't fit, the events of the epilogue. They just didn't make sense to me and that is why while this book garners five stars for me, it's not going to make it onto my list of favorites. I wish she had truly ended the book when the siege ended. It was the perfect conclusion and in my opinion the epilogue spoiled it. That said, it is a moving, beautiful, and almost perfect novel. I highly recommend it to anyone who has eyes and likes words.