5 December, 2022

Book Endings We’d Like to Change

Bel Canto
By Ann Patchett

Life, as we all know, can be full of disappointment . . . and frustration. As a voracious reader, nothing irritates me more than becoming completely invested in a novel, only to be slapped across the face by the novel’s conclusion. That happened to me a number of years ago after reading Ann Patchett’s 2001 novel Bel Canto.

Bel Canto takes place in the home of the Vice President of a small South American country. Guests made up of international dignitaries as well as a world-renowned soprano are in attendance for a birthday party, when events suddenly take a frightening turn as terrorists break into the home and hold the guests hostage.

Patchett does a wonderful job awakening all of your senses as she describes the people and surroundings of the novels setting. Her writing style is so fluid, that after reading only a few paragraphs, you know that this will be one of those books that you’ll have trouble putting down.

The book is remarkable, from the shifting plot to the intriguing characters. It grabs the reader immediately and doesn’t let go until the end at which point you feel as though you weren’t just let go, but were thrown from a cliff – during a really bad storm – and maybe you had left your climbing shoes in the car.

It’s one thing to suffer through a lousy novel that finishes up with an equally lousy ending – but when a book as good as Patchett’s debut novel, ends so badly – well, it’s just the worst kind of literary betrayal.

-Lisa Emig


  • TS Tate

    Tee received a Master of Arts in English in 2008 from Southeastern Louisiana University. She has studied under Edgar nominee Tim Gautreaux, Booksense Pick novelist Bev Marshall and Clarion West graduate and World Fantasy nominee, Cat Rambo. She has more than ten years of documentation and editing experience and is currently the Editor-in-Chief at LitStack.com.   She has spent the past nine years in the corporate environment as a Technical Editor and has previously edited for Christine Rose, Phoebe North, Heather McCorkle, Laura Pauling, Anne Riley, Christine Fonseca and UF writer Carolyn Crane. With Heather McCorkle, Tee co-founded the #WritersRoad chat on Twitter.  In addition, she is working on several creative projects, including her second novel and various short stories. Her flash fiction, "Street Noises," was included in the Pill Hill Press anthology "Daily Frights 2012: 366 Days of Dark Flash Fiction (Leap Year Edition)" and her short "Til Hunt Be Done," was included in the Winter Wonders anthology from Compass Press.  A diehard New Orleans Saints fan, Tee lives with her family in Southeast Louisiana.

3 thoughts on “Book Endings We’d Like to Change

  1. I think that for me, it would be The Time Traveler's Wife. In case someone hasn't read it, I won't say what I would change…but I suspect most who've read it know what I would change.

  2. I would change that one too, aliceisforever.
    And I totally agree with "IT". I was GLUED to that book (except that night a friend decided to raise a balloon right outside my bedroom window) and when I came to the end, I was poised for something equally dramatic and spellbinding and I got — a spider???? Pah-lu-heeze.

  3. On Friday Night Knitting Club–It was a total letdown when the protagonist kicked the bucket. Didn't even bother to read the others in the series.

Comments are closed.