The Piano Teacher- A Review
While vacationing in Barbados I had the pleasure of reading Janice Y.K. Lee’s debut novel, The Piano Teacher. This novel is a highly moving work that took me on a journey to Hong Kong in two separate time periods surrounding World War II...
The Piano Teacher follows Claire Pendelton, a newlywed who moves from her native England to Hong Kong with her husband Martin, in 1951. It takes a while for Claire to get used to the exotic city and she eventually takes a post as a piano teacher in the home of the wealthy and illustrious family of Victor and Melody Chen. Once there, Claire strikes up a relationship with the Chen’s mysterious English driver, Will Truesdale. The two begin a torrid affair- Claire falls deeply in love with Will- even though she knows the secrets of his past leave a dark shadow on their relationship...
And the secrets of Will’s past are slowly revealed as Lee weaves Claire and Will’s story with that of Will’s earlier love affair- one that took place ten years earlier on the brink of World War II with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. Trudy and Will’s love never quite stood a chance as the brutal reality of war tore their whimsical and carefree lives apart in the darkest way possible.
Lee’s prose in The Piano Teacher is sparse and haunting. She makes you long to know more about her characters- to find out their secrets- to understand their pain. This fascinating book mesmerized me, was a thrilling read and I highly recommend it.
The Piano Teacher can be purchased at all major bookstores and at www.amazon.com