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Pianotunnit by Janice Y. K. Lee
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Pianotunnit (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Janice Y. K. Lee, Helene Bützow (KÄÄnt.)

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1,6831114,247 (3.33)132
Member:ailalah
Title:Pianotunnit
Authors:Janice Y. K. Lee
Other authors:Helene Bützow (KÄÄnt.)
Info:Helsinki : Tammi, 2009.
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:2012, historiallinen fiktio, psykologiset romaanit, rakkausromaanit, toinen maailmansota

Work details

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee (2009)

  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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English (106)  Spanish (3)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (111)
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Exotic Hong Kong takes center stage in this sumptuous novel, set in the 1940s and '50s. It's a city teeming with people, sights, sounds, and smells, and it's home to a group of foreign nationals who enjoy the good life among the local moneyed set, in a tight-knit social enclave distanced from the culture at large. Comfortable, clever, and even a bit dazzling, they revel in their fancy dinners and fun parties. But their sheltered lives take an abrupt turn after the Japanese occupation, and though their reactions are varied -- denial, resistance, submission -- the toll it takes on all is soon laid bare.

Enter Claire Pendleton from London. Months after her husband is transferred to Hong Kong in 1951, she accepts a position as a piano teacher to the daughter of a wealthy couple, the Chens. Claire begins to see the appeal of the sweltering city and is soon taken in by the Chen's driver, the curiously underutilized Will Truesdale. A handsome charmer with a mysterious limp, Will appears to be the perfect companion for Claire, who's often left to her own devices. But a further examination leaves her with more questions than answers.

An intricately woven tale of lives changed by historical events, Lee's debut brings this hothouse flower of a city alive with passion, and imagines characters both unforgettable and tragic. ( )
  John_Warner | Apr 23, 2016 |
About Hong Kong pre through post WWII. Quite intriguing and modernly written, but it just fizzled at the end. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Sad, sad story, but taught me a lot about a period/location of which I knew very little. ( )
  bookczuk | Apr 4, 2016 |
Similar story as her most recent book, "The Expatriates" and just as pleasurable. She has great capacity in intertwining stories from past and present. ( )
  bogopea | Mar 27, 2016 |
All's unfair in love + war; so goes the theme of this WWII novel set in Hong Kong during the horror of the Japanese invasion. The characters - Trudy, a gorgeous Portuguese-Chinese woman, her Brit lover Will, and Claire, a Brit bride who arrives in the Colony 10 years after the war - are very well developed and the plot, told in dual time frames and from Will and Claire's viewpoints, is always commanding. But adding Trudy's thoughts would have made it even better, rather than leaving her as a bit too enigmatic. It reminded me a bit of Love is a Many Splendored Thing, but much less mushy. Lee's immersion in Hong Kong history and life (also seen in her latest, The Expatriates) paint a picture of a locale to be treasured for all the nationalities, social classes, and cuisine (!) it embraces. ( )
  froxgirl | Feb 16, 2016 |
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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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