LLC Bookclub - What's next?Looking forward to meeting you all on our bookclub of Thursday June 18th meeting 14.30h for Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
In an unnamed South American country, a world-renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan. His hosts hope that Mr. Hosokawa can be persuaded to build a factory in their Third World backwater. Alas, in the opening sequence, just as the accompanist kisses the soprano, a ragtag band of 18 terrorists enters the vice-presidential mansion through the air conditioning ducts. Their quarry is the president, who has unfortunately stayed home to watch a favorite soap opera. And thus, from the beginning, things go awry. Among the hostages are not only Hosokawa and Roxane Coss, the American soprano, but an assortment of Russian, Italian, and French diplomatic types. Reuben Iglesias, the diminutive and gracious vice president, quickly gets sideways of the kidnappers, who have no interest in him whatsoever. Meanwhile, a Swiss Red Cross negotiator named Joachim Messner is roped into service while vacationing. He comes and goes, wrangling over terms and demands, and the days stretch into weeks, the weeks into months. With the omniscience of magic realism, Ann Patchett flits in and out of the hearts and psyches of hostage and terrorist alike, and in doing so reveals a profoundshared humanity. Her voice is suitably lyrical,
melodic, full of warmth and compassion.
The May book was The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka and depicted the lives of Japanese 'picture brides' coming to California from Japan in the early 1900s. The novel is narrated in the 1st person plural from the point of view of the many girls and women who made the journey. A fascinating account, it was a subject on which many of the book group had little knowledge and made for a very interesting discussion. Themes in the book are still relevant today such as war and the rights of citizens and immigrant assimilation into society.
Don't forget July 16th meeting:
A Classic of your choice – pre 1950
For more information about any of the above or our next meeting and venue,
please contact: LLC secretary: lunchclubgascogne(at)gmail.com or join our LLC blog here: follow by email (click on this link if you want regular info)
See you in June, if not before.