Book Review of Bel Canto

Bel Canto
Bel Canto
Author: Ann Patchett
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 155 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1


Bel Canto has been on my to-read list for years. In fact, I've started it at least 4 times. For some reason I could never past the first chapter. But I didnt give up, I eventually found the audiobook and tried that. The narration was ok, but even by listening to the story, I dont think that I ever got in to it. I was never captivated, not until the story was over, just before we came to the epilogue. Thats when I realized that I actually was engrossed in the novel. After it was over.

Because it took me until the end to realized that I was interested in these characters, I dont feel that I should give the book a very high rating. But on the other hand, I dont feel that it should get a low rating because, after all, I did end up liking it. Again, without the epilogue, but Ill get to that later.

The idea of Stockholm Syndrome has always held my interest. And I do believe that after the amount of time that the hostages in this story spent with their captors, it is very plausible that they did come to be companionable, if not friendly, with each other. I felt that over time, the characters came to life, but I think that I would have liked the book more had we been able to see inside the captors a bit more. What were their pasts beyond one or two flash memories? Why was it so important to free the prisoners who were the reason behind the take-over. It just felt like I needed more!

While I do feel like I needed more depth to some of the characters and plot lines, I could have done completely without the Epilogue! I think that by reading those last few pages, the book was ruined for me. What happened during those pages made absolutely no sense when compared to the rest of the entire book. It actually made me angry the way things were wrapped up. I wish the book would have ended after the final showdown. It would have been more tragic, in a classical way. I know that this book was loosely based on an actual event (which I am old enough to have remembered, but have somehow never heard of) and I dont know if the actual events came in to play with the ending that Ann Patchett wrote, but for the sake of the world of happy endings that I live in, I hope this was all Authors Liberties.

As Im looking back on my review, I realize that I'm almost confused by what I wrote. I almost want to rewrite it so that it makes sense. But I realize that its fine the way it is because this is exactly how Bel Canto made me feel. Confused