Bel Canto – Book Recommendation!

So you may have seen I have asked to become a guest writer over at 4ManchesterWomen where I will be writing about children’s literature and giving a few recommendations here and there. My first article of which you can read here.

Which got me thinking? Why limit it to just children’s books?

I go through a good story like I go through cups of tea.

I.e. on more regular occurrence than you would think humanly possible and with a dignified pleasure each time!

So in a bid to diversify my own blog here a bit rather than writing about nothing but theatre all the time, I thought I’d start chatting books too. Because first and foremost i consider myself to be a storyteller.

And with out further ado…

I’m a little late to the party with this one I guess, seen as how Patchett’s Bel Canto has seemingly been nominated for as many prizes as it has pages, however, if I’ve missed it then a few of you probably have too, and this book deserves highlighting!

I picked my copy up on a lazy Sunday or two ago from the Oxfam Emporium on Oldham street then wandered down to a park on Oxford Road to enjoy the sunshine.

I picked the book up, just to flip through the first couple of pages (by which I mean quickly glance at the final ones) and 3 hours later I realised I was bloody freezing, the sun had disappeared, and I wasn’t in fact a hostage in some ‘godforsaken country’ as the book had mesmerized me into thinking but was actually still in Manchester and becoming increasingly surrounded by drunks not terrorists.

There is something beautiful about this book, although slow to start, it captures you so that you truly appreciate the bizarre paradise it depicts.  This is the really clever part behind the novel. Just as the hostages are incapable of explaining the benevolence they begin to feel, neither can I although I do understand it.

Looking at the blurred lines between good and evil, this novel depicts humanity better than I have seen in a book in a long time.

Although I have to admit I really could not stand the musical heroine, even though she charmed apparently every single character in the book, she was the one that as a reader I just did not warm to, or believe for that matter.

That being said, it really isn’t about her, and if you can get past that then you are on to a winner with this one.

Just don;t start reading it while enjoying the sunny weather we are having at the moment. I look like a lobster that was cooked wearing lingerie.

Stephanie x


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