story begins with an Opera Diva, a song, a powerful captain of industry from
Japan, and a birthday party. The night goes horribly wrong when terrorists
burst into the room. Roxanne Coss, the famous Opera Diva, enchants both captive and captor.
Relationships are formed along tenuous lines, time stands still for a brief
magical little while. Patchett has written a brilliant story that
delves into the changing relationship of captors and captives with compassion
and insight. Her writing is absolutely luminous. This is one of my favorite books.
Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening -- until a band of gunwielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots, intimate friends, and lovers.