• Bel Canto

    In an unnamed South American country, a world-renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan. Alas, in the opening sequence, a ragtag band of 18 terrorists enters the vice-presidential mansion through the air conditioning ducts. Their quarry is the president, who has unfortunately stayed home to watch a favorite soap opera. And thus, from the beginning, things go awry.,Among the hostages are Russian, Italian, and French diplomatic types. Swiss Red Cross negotiator oachim Messner comes and goes, wrangling over terms and demands. Days stretch into weeks, the weeks into months. Joined by no common language except music, the 58 international hostages and their captors forge unexpected bonds. Time stands still, priorities rearrange themselves. Ultimately, of course, something has to give.,Hearing opera sung live for the first time, a young priest reflects:,Never had he thought, never once, that such a woman existed, one who stood so close to God that God’s own voice poured from her. How far she must have gone inside herself to call up that voice. It was as if the voice came from the center part of the earth and by the sheer effort and diligence of her will she had pulled it up through the dirt and rock and through the floorboards of the house, up into her feet, where it pulled through her, reaching, lifting, warmed by her, and then out of the white lily of her throat and straight to God in heaven.

  • The Dutch House

    At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.,The story is told by Cyril???s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.,Set over the course of five decades, , is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they???re together. Throughout their lives, they return to the well-worn story of what they???ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they???re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.

  • This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

    Blending literature and memoir, Ann Patchett, author of , and , examines her deepest commitments ??? to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband ??? creating a resonant portrait of a life in , takes us into the very real world of Ann Patchett???s life. Stretching from her childhood to the present day, from a disastrous early marriage to a later happy one, it covers a multitude of topics, including relationships with family and friends, and charts the hard work and joy of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore.,As she shares stories of the people, places, ideals, and art to which she has remained indelibly committed, Ann Patchett brings into focus the large experiences and small moments that have shaped her as a daughter, wife, and writer.

  • Truth & Beauty

    Bestselling author Ann Patchett???s first work of nonfiction chronicling her decades-long friendship with the critically acclaimed and recently deceased author, Lucy Grealy.,Ann Patchett and the late Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and, after enrolling in the Iowa Writer???s Workshop, began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work. In Gealy’s critically acclaimed and hugely successful memoir, ,, she wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer, years of chemotherapy and radiation, and endless reconstructive surgeries. In ,, the story isn’t Lucy’s life or Ann’s life, but the parts of their lives they shared together. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans twenty years, from the long cold winters of the Midwest, to surgical wards, to book parties in New York. Through love, fame, drugs, and despair, this is what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined…and what happens when one is left behind.,This is a tender, brutal book about loving the person we cannot save. It is about loyalty and being uplifted by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.