The Empathy Museum presents

“This book totally transported me, I was absolutely gripped by it. As you read, the knowledge that there's no way things can turn out well for these characters you grow to love is like a shadow that looms over the book, but you keep holding on to hope anyway. It's stayed with me years after I read it, it moved me more than almost anything else I've read”

Book 0208
Donated by Caroline Medhurst

Bel Canto
Ann Patchett

A friend suggested this book to me whilst I was browsing the Empathy Museum. The nurturing gesture of having a book picked out for me had a calming effect on my mood, and I decided to take the book because I'm often open to the point of indecisiveness when it comes to reading. I mention this because I feel the tone of the book is entirely similar to how I felt during that moment... despite the content being about a group of politicians and CEOs taken hostage by a group of terrorists. Just another classic of the calm, nurturing hostage genre. The book is about free time and free will. All the characters are trapped in a state of limbo after a botched terrorist plot. Rather than take any direct action to remedy the situation (either because they are unable or unwilling), the characters just bide their time. The author has a very unhurried style. There's some nagging dread, but for the most part we sit back with the characters and watch the course of events play out. Passive and uncomplicated - pick up this book if you like a book picked for you.

Douglas Steinberg

A beautiful, sensitive book. For me, it's about genuine connections between people; people who may not share a language, a common culture or political leanings. As the book progresses, the characters form deep bonds with each other that bring out different elements of their personality. As the reader, you witness them grow and develop, all the while knowing that this situation cannot last and will inevitably end in tragedy. Thank you Caroline for donating this book.

Lydia Ashman

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