But deducing this book to that one liner is much like calling Life of Pi the book with the boy and the tiger in the life boat. It's deeper than just the surface events. Perhaps the depth is created through Patchett's omniscient narration-- a difficult task that she handles with such ease. She provides a very intimate glance into the hostages' inner fears and desires as well as the terrorists'. Getting that glimpse at the personal and unspoken motivations gripped me and allowed me to finish this novel fairly quickly.
The most outrageous plot points that I had trouble with involved the take over of the Vice President's home. The guests just don't seem too alarmed, shocked, worried about a bunch of terrorists with guns. And then the epilogue. I like books with sad endings, and I like books with happy endings. But it's rare to have an author provide both. And why should they? I want to chop off the epilogue so badly.
The Stockholm syndrome didn't make me immediately uncomfortable. The hostages were cooperative and helpful for various reasons, although I'd think the preservation of their life would be paramount. But as things shifted into romantic pairings and new family units, the book did become a bit unpleasant, especially with the heavy foreshadowing of what was to come. The characters just became a bit too delusional to really feel sympathy for
It's an oddly beautiful and satisfying novel. While I have no interest in opera or language in the way that some of the characters in the novel are passionate about the topics, I can understand the depths of that devotion and love as Patchett describes it through her characters. The gradual pace is juxtaposed with the audience's anticipated inner notion of panic that the hostages should feel. Dramatic irony for the win. It isn't one that I'd necessarily recommend to friends, but it wasn't a waste at all. Not at all.
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