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Bel Canto sold 200,000 copies in the UK and over 1,000,000 in paperback in the US Ann Patchett is an Orange Prize winner
Ann Patchett is the author of five previous novels, including Bel Canto, which won the Orange prize. She writes for the New York Times Magazine, Elle, GQ, The Paris Review and Vogue. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Two families come together in a traffic accident during a snowstorm. Nothing terribly unusual there, except that a woman has purposely thrown herself under a car to protect a stranger. It quickly becomes clear that the families-a poor, single black mother with her 11-year-old daughter and a white, Irish Catholic, former Boston mayor with a biological son and two adopted black college-aged sons whose much-loved wife died over 20 years ago-have a connection. The award-winning Patchett (Bel Canto) here presents an engrossing and enjoyable novel. While there are a few unexpected turns, the reader very quickly figures out where the plot is headed, but that does not detract from the pleasure of reading. The somewhat unusual premise is presented very matter-of-factly; this is not a story about race but about family and the depths of parents' love of their children, whether biological, adopted, given away, or otherwise acquired, and of each other. Recommended for most collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/07.]-Sarah Conrad Weisman, Corning Community Coll. Lib., NY Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Andrew O'Hagan's novel Be Near Me has just been published by Harcourt. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.