Bel Canto is by Ann Patchett. This is the story of an unlikely group of people who come together to celebrate the birthday of a Japanese industrialist in the home of the Vice President of an unnamed South American country. After the dinner, a famous opera singer gives a performance. Then the group finds themselves taken hostage by a local guerrilla group. This intense character study unfolds over the next four months as the captors and hostages begin to bond. The ending is surprising and somewhat strains belief.
Ratings: 11th grade - 7 out of 10 - P (profanity) - V (violence) - AC (mature thematic content).