Welcome! Happy Friday! Friday Favourites are where I spend one Friday a month talking about a book I’ve read and loved in the past.
Ann Patchett is that rare author who straddles the line between literary and popular fiction. By which I mean, she’s approachable and readable for that reader off the street who might not consume much fiction annually and at the same time her writing is deep and smart and clever.
Bel Canto is Patchett’s fourth novel and definitely her most famous. It is dark and funny and fascinating and heartbreakingly sad. Set in an unnamed South American country in the middle of a hostage situation, Patchett crafts a surprisingly beautiful story. It’s a story about language, love, music, culture, politics – it’s kind of amazing how much Patchett fits in. And even now, after multiple reads, the ending still brings me to tears.
If you’ve read Bel Canto already I highly encourage you to delve into the rest of Patchett’s writing. My second favourite by her would be her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars. I also really enjoyed her collection of essays, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.
Previous Friday Favourites:
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje