A favourite passage (from Bel Canto)

I can never turn off my editor brain, which often affects my reading experience, but Bel Canto is so perfectly crafted, my editor brain has stayed quiet and let me just be a reader. Here’s a beautifully descriptive passage that I love:

“It had been a beautiful party, though no one would remember that. White asparagus in hollandaise, a fish course of turbot with crispy sweet onions, tiny chops, only three or four bites apiece, in a cranberry demiglaze. Usually struggling countries longing to impress the heads of important foreign corporations chose Russian caviar and French champagne. Russian and French, Russian and French, as if that was the only way to prove prosperity. On every table sprays of yellow orchids, each flower no bigger than a thumbnail, all locally grown, trembled and balanced like mobiles, rearranging themselves with every exhalation of a guest. The effort that had gone into the evening, the positioning of each stem, the sweeping calligraphy of the place cards, had been lost without a moment’s appreciation.”

~from Bel Canto by Ann Patchett