This novel has an average rating from my local library readers, but I found it a fascinating insight into the Valois dynasty seen through the eyes of Marguerite de Valois during the 16th century. Although King Charles heads the French dynasty, his mother, Catherine de Medicis, is the one who makes all the political decisions. Her schemes to maintain and increase her family’s rule include marrying her off to any man if it will increase the family’s power. The Queen’s desire to maintain a stronghold on its kingdom culminates in the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre when thousands of Huguenot are slaughtered.
Will Margurerite realize what kind of a person her mother really is, and overcome her desire to please her?
African American Evan grew up an orphan in a small Mississippi town. When he meets Valuable, the daughter of the town whore who doesn’t know who her father is, their lives change. Both want a family, something neither of them have, but can this racial combination survive in the 1950’s racist south?
Set in Montreal, Beena and Sadhana are close because of the death of their parents in their teens. While their uncle takes care of them, Beena sees a change in her sister. It’s only with Sadhana’s death, that Beena tries to unravel the cause of her sister’s life.
This is a well written powerful story, but because of Sadhana’s tragic decline and eventual death it sometimes made this emotionally hard to read.
A South American government tries to lure Mr Hosokawa to a party so he will invest in their country, but the Japanese tycoon is not interested in doing business with this regime. When he is not working long hours at his company, Nansei, he is passionate about opera, especially opera singer Roxane Coss. So when the South American government invites him to attend his birthday party where this very opera singer will perform, he cannot refuse.
Continue reading “Ann Patchett’s — Bel Canto *****”