Bel Canto

9th April 2004

The best parts of Bel Canto by Ann Patchett:

“The room was filled with the pleasant smell of candles just snuffed, a smoke that was sweet and wholly unthreatening. A smell that meant it was late now, time to go to bed.”

“The room was sugared with promise.”

“They were early [to the opera], but other people were earlier, as part of the luxury that came with the ticket price was the right to sit quietly in this beautiful place and wait.”

“Certainly he knew (though did not completely understand) that opera wasn’t for everyone, but for everyone he hoped there was something.”

“In his day, Oscar himself had made too many girls forget their better instincts and fine training by biting them with tender persistence at the base of their skull, just where the hairline grew in downy wisps. Girls were like kittens in this way, if got them right at the nape of their neck they went easily limp.”