My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A group of dignitaries and VIPS from around the world come together at a party where renown opera singer, Roxane Coss, will be performing. In the midst of the party the lights go out and the house is taken over by terrorists. The hostage situation drags for several months and the line between hostages and terrorists become blurred as they form bonds and come to know each other as fellow human beings.
Ann Patchett has created a really remarkable situation and complex characters. The terrorist group includes several soldiers who are still basically children and I like how the author shows their vulnerability. She describes their worn boots held together with tape and how they are still so young but holding guns and knives. One of my favorite characters is Gen, a translator for a Japanese CEO. Because the hostages are from all over the world, Gen becomes an integral part of communications in the group. It is interesting to see how humanity stretches over different languages, races and social classes as you get to know the stories behind the faces.
I appreciate how the author has created this story where individual relationships are created, talents are discovered and things happen that would never happen outside of this situation. This said, the book was a bit slow for me and the plot seemed to drag a bit at times.
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