Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett

After reading State of Wonder, I immediately returned to the bookstore to find another novel by Ann Patchett. I must admit, I was disappointed, at first. I had trouble getting into the various points of view. I kept wondering, "THIS was a bestseller?" But I knew the whole world couldn't be wrong in recommending this book, so I plowed onward.! I am so glad I read this novel! Patchett shows us the beautiful side of humanity and the love we can have for one another in spite of the violence around us. And the catalyst for the bond between people is the joy of music. This story is a study of the role of music, and by extension all of the arts, in bringing the best out of humanity.

I might have written the ending a little differently, but I was very pleased overall and would highly recommend this novel.

State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett

I was shocked when I read a description of this novel as "a creepy fountain of youth story." Those words are far from the ones I would use to describe this magnificent adventure story. If you want to experience authentic life in the Amazon jungle of South America; if you want to live among a fascinating tribe mostly untouched by modern civilization; if you want to witness the devotion of doctors to the betterment of humanity; and if you want to see this outrageously dangerous and beautiful adventure from the point of view of a lovely woman dedicated to both her work and her friends; then this novel, nothing like a fountain of youth tale, is for you. The characters and the setting, brilliantly crafted, linger in my mind long after closing the book. I can't wait to read it again.

I highly recommend this novel.