1.27.2010

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

11 comments:

Michael Rivers said...

This sounds very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour,
I love a good book that really pulls you in, leaving you wanting more. Now to find the time...
Great review.
Hope you're having a good week!

Lulu said...

I've been contemplating this book. Glad to hear your positive review of it.

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

I love split time books. I haven't heard of this one before but it sounds a lovely elegant read. I do like the cover very much! xx

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Thanks Michael- it was a great book- I was unsure because the subject matter sounded depressing but I really enjoyed it!

Bonjour Romance- Oh I know... the time! I sneak in an hour of reading each night (or try to anyway)- this one will make you want to read for longer...

Thanks Lulu- I hope you enjoy it if you pick it up!

Josphine- I admit the cover is what attracted me to the book (bringing back that old adage about judging a book by its cover :) ) Hope you're well xo

Pug1 said...

Yes, I agree it does have an a great cover! CHEERS! Michele

Linda H said...

I read that book last year and loved it. I didn't want it to end. I thought the author's strength was in describing China and making the reader have a good visual of the surroundings. Sometimes writers go too far with description and then it gets tedious but not this author. I've never read a fiction that made me feel this way. I could also tell this was her first effort but I will definitely read more of her work. I liked the cover too but this book was chosen by my book club so I can't take credit for the selection.

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

Thanks for reviewing this book...I have had my eye on it for a while now...I'll be giving it a read very soon. Thanks!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Bonjour Michele! xo

Linda H- Oh it's great to hear from someone who has actually read it- yes, I agree the descriptions about China and Hong Kong were so vivid. I really couldn't put this one down...

Lisa- I hope you'll enjoy it xo

cyndaminthia said...

I find myself very wary of reading this book - keep on seeing it in Barnes and Borders. but I feel like the reasons of being wary would be better expressed in person, and possibly after I've read it. Hm.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Cyndaminthia- the only way we can have a discussion is if you read it lol! Looking forward to seeing you soon :)

 
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