Who was reading: Woman with a vast wool scarf wound around and around her neck, giving the impression that her head floated atop a fluff of black cotton candy.
Black cotton candy = licorice flavor? I'm queasy just thinking about it.
Fact: This book has been enthusiastically recommended to me by several persons of taste.
Fact: I have gone so far as to carry a copy to a variety of hemispheres (2).
Nevertheless… I have not read this book. I have not even pretended to have read it to impress others and appear more educated.
Why on earth did I pick up Madame Bovary first, allowing Bel Canto to fester in the luggage on that fateful journey to South America? I'm not quite sure, but I suspect my undergrad self believed Flaubert would be most effective as a tool to impress others and appear more educated.
So even though the publisher says:"[it's] about love and opera, and the unifying ways people learn to communicate across cultural barriers in times of crisis" I may never know first hand the contents of the book. Just as I will never know what was running through the head of the woman in the scarf that looked like black cotton candy as she sat on the Q train reading Bel Canto.