The relationships between terrorists and hostages is blurred through time, proximity and shared appreciation of art and beauty.
This story really packed a punch for me. The onclusion is quite devastating. It took me, as it does the characters in the story, by surprise because Ann Patchett had woven such a web that like the characters I forgot what I knew. That there was almost no way for things to end well. But I had been woven into these characters lives and the bubble they had created which exalted the poor and humbled the great until they were united in their consuming love of music and art.
The writing style is very practical and matter of fact which somehow enhances the scattered moments where emotion comes bubbling through. Certain scenes took my breath away with their simple loveliness such as when the Russian reveals his love to Roxanne and Caesar opens his mouth to sing for the first time.
For me this was an astonishingly lovely and heartbreaking book that illuminated the unity of our humanity with the incongruity of the human experience.