I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It seems so exciting initially – rebels burst into an extravagant party and take everyone hostage – but it’s really just a charming story of people getting to know each other, enjoying great music, becoming friends, falling in love, playing chess and soccer, all despite what appear at first to be insurmountable differences. Patchett does a great job portraying how humanity persists even in extraordinary situations.

I also thought Bel Canto was a wonderful reminder to slow down and evaluate what makes life worth living. Often we’re working so hard towards one goal that we don’t make time for the experiences we truly enjoy. Hopefully more of us can figure that out without getting kidnapped :)