Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Bel Canto

Ann Patchett

This is not your usual hostage/siege story, instead it's full of beautiful descriptions and some unusual love stories. It may also appeal to anyone who enjoys opera, but if you're not an opera fan, don't let that put you off. If you like romance or suspense you'll find this a good read.


No one would have said her voice sounded better with an orchestra, or that it was better when the room was immaculately clean and lit by candles. They did not notice the absence of flowers or champagne, in fact they knew now that flowers and champagne were unnecessary embellishments. Had she really not been singing all along? The sound was no more beautiful when her voice was limber and warm. Their eyes clouded over with tears for so many reasons it would be impossible to list them all. They cried for the beauty of the music, but also for the failure of their plans.

  • The Siege by Helen Dunmore
  • The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett
  • The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts by Louis de Bernieres

Books with similar mood

Life of Pi

Yann Martel

An Equal Stillness

Francesca Kay

The Paris Wife

Paula McLain

Villa America

Liza Klaussmann

The Scents of Marie-Claire

Habib Selmi


Kapka Kassabova

The Enchantress of Florence

Salman Rushdie

The Trials and Tribulations of Lucas Lessar

Shauna Seliy

The Eyes

Don Patterson

Lying Awake

Mark Salzman

A la Recherche du Temps Perdu: a Poem

Craig Raine

Tamara Walks on Water

Shifra Horn

Lyrics Alley

Leila Aboulela

Big Cherry Holler

Adriana Trigiani

The Best People in the World

Justin Tussing

A House of Light

Candida Clark

Shanghai Baby

Wei Hui

The Long Afternoon

Giles Waterfield


Anita Brookner

Heaven and Hell

Jon Kalman Stefansson

The Master

Colm Toibin

Critical Injuries

Joan Barfoot

Pages for You

Sylvia Brownrigg

The Mistressclass

Michelle Roberts


G P Taylor

The Bookman's Tale

Charlie Lovett

The Water's Edge

Louise Tondeur

The Valley at the Centre of the World

Malachy Tallack

By the Light of My Father's Smile

Alice Walker

The Chimes

Anna Smaill


Erlend Loe

Lord of Emperors

Guy Gavriel Kay


Arthur Phillips

A Hologram for the King

Dave Eggers

The Princess of Mantua

Marie Ferranti

Among Others

Jo Walton

Kingdom of the Golden Dragon

Isabelle Allende

Bee Journal

Sean Borodale

Priestess of Avalon

Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Dark Ship

Anne Macleod

Wednesday's Child

Eloise Millar