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The Piano Teacher: A Novel (2009)

by Janice Y. K. Lee

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1,488964,954 (3.36)110
Member:Kanellio
Title:The Piano Teacher: A Novel
Authors:Janice Y. K. Lee
Info:Viking Adult (no date), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee (2009)

1950s (12) 2009 (15) 2010 (14) 2011 (10) adult (7) adultery (9) Asia (11) betrayal (12) China (50) Chinese (8) colonialism (16) ebook (11) fiction (193) historical (8) historical fiction (85) Hong Kong (122) Japan (18) japanese occupation (21) love (14) love story (8) novel (12) own (18) read (16) read in 2009 (13) read in 2010 (9) romance (15) to-read (40) unread (7) war (17) WWII (109)
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  1. 10
    Fragrant Harbour by John Lanchester (sungene)
    sungene: Same setting, similar plot and structure (two time periods), thoroughly researched, a love song to Hong Kong, deeply felt characters.
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Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
Interesting account of post-war Hong Kong. Trudy was an interesting character and her romance was absorbing, but there was no real resolution and some of the characters were unbelievable. However, I did learn much about the Japanese atrocities against the Chinese during the War. ( )
  Becky221 | Jan 14, 2014 |
Like any good novel, this one transports you to another time and place. The two different periods in this story--1942 and 1953 in Hong Kong--were woven together well. The conclusion reminded me of so many other stories where something from the past overhangs all the characters and their decisions. ( )
  amarie | Nov 16, 2013 |
It took me some time to become comfortable with the two timelines and their tenses. Once I had a better grasp of the plot, its complexity kept me interested.

The Piano Teacher had all the elements of a good novel including sophisticated prose. Halfway through,however, I checked to see whether the story had been turned into a movie. The drama and extravagance would work well cinematographically. I usually finish a book before considering a film version, but I wanted to see how certain characters evolved. I couldn’t find a movie based on the novel, but finished the book regardless. I say this because the characters were not very endearing to me. In fact if the book had not been so well written and the mystery so interesting, I probably would have put it down.

I also have to admit that the setting was fascinating, as I had very limited knowledge of the Japanese occupation of Honk Kong. Some parts were very disturbing, but not out of place where war is concerned.

What really made it difficult for me to enjoy the book was that I just didn’t like any of the characters, and would not have wanted anything to do with them, had they been real people. The only character I sympathized with was Locket, whom we don’t get to know very well as readers. I guess what was missing for me was some feeling of satisfaction beyond having the mystery revealed. Hope. ( )
  YvonnevonInnes | Nov 13, 2013 |
The book takes place in two time periods a decade apart. It is the story of Claire and Trudy, two women and two different circumstances. The period is World War 2 in Hong Kong. The events that take place, the changes that happen, the growth of the characters make for a very moving story. ( )
  mbklibrary | Aug 25, 2013 |
i like the atmosphere in this book. having two stories with some of the sma epeople 10 years apart. amazing how much people change over time and in crisis situations. thr ending was not as exciting as i hoped for when behaviors were explained, but i liked - spoiler alert - that claire went her own way to find herself. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Jul 28, 2013 |
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Book description
In the sweeping tradition of "The English Patient" comes this gripping tale set in war-torn Hong Kong.

Rich with intrigue, romance, and betrayal, this wonderfully written, utterly captivating novel dazzles . . .--Chang-rae Lee.

In 1942, Will Truesdale, an Englishman newly arrived in Hong Kong, falls headlong into a passionate relationship with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. But their love affair is soon threatened by the invasion of the Japanese as World War II overwhelms their part of the world. Will is sent to an internment camp, where he and other foreigners struggle daily for survival. Meanwhile, Trudy remains outside, forced to form dangerous alliances with the Japanese - in particular, the malevolent head of the gendarmerie, whose desperate attempts to locate a priceless collection of Chinese art lead to a chain of terrible betrayals.

Ten years later, Claire Pendleton comes to Hong Kong and is hired by the wealthy Chen family as their daughter's piano teacher. A provincial English newlywed, Claire is seduced by the heady social life of the expatriate community. At one of its elegant cocktail parties, she meets Will, to whom she is instantly attracted - but as their affair intensifies, Claire discovers that Will's enigmatic persona hides a devastating past. As she begins to understand the true nature of the world she has entered, and long-buried secrets start to emerge, Claire learns that sometimes the price of survival is love.
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Hired by the wealthy Chen family as a piano instructor, Claire Pendleton is seduced by the social life of Hong Kong's expatriate community and begins an affair with Will Truesdale, an enigmatic Englishman with a devastating past.

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