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Pianotunnit by Janice Y. K. Lee

Pianotunnit (original 2009; edition 2009)

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

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1,6181034,514 (3.34)127
Authors:Janice Y. K. Lee
Other authors:Helene Bützow (KÄÄnt.)
Info:Helsinki : Tammi, 2009.
Collections:Read but unowned
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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Didn't know what I would think of this but I quite enjoyed it. Glimpses of HK during and after WW2 the most interesting aspects of this. Didn't particularly care for the main characters. An easy read. ( )
  aine.fin | Feb 20, 2015 |
This book really isn't my style - its slow, ponderous, full of unlikeable people. The part I found most interesting was the description of the refugee camp because I hadn't realized that Hong Kong was invaded by the Japanese. I found the the motives of the various characters weren't explained. I found Claire, the main character to be the worst of them all - she suddenly starts stealing from her employer, and the book doesn't really explain why. As for her romance with Will Truevale (or something), Will is so bland. He doesn't really have much of a personality. As for Trudy, she is actually the one character I kind of liked - but, again, it felt like she was written in grayscale, rather than in color. I didn't like this book. But, its I wouldn't have read it except that it was chosen by my book club. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Jan 28, 2015 |
(35) This was quite easy reading but a bit disappointing truth be told. Claire Pendleton moves to 1950's Hong Kong with her new husband she barely knows and ends up having an affair with a British ex-pat who is a chauffeur for the rich Chinese family for which Claire is the titular 'piano teacher' for the 10--year old daughter. Will, her paramour, has his own history in Hong Kong - a love affair with Eurasian socialite Trudy Liang. We toggle between the details of both affairs separated by a decade or so and try and figure out what happened to Trudy. Frankly, I never really knew but never really cared.

The novel was a bit scattered as to what it was trying to be about. Colonialization, a love story, the mystery of the 'Crown Collection,' the ravages of War. For me it really fell off when the Japanese invaded and Will went into the interment camp. I just did not get what was happening between he and Trudy. I did not get how Claire was a "pawn" in exposing deep secrets about the past - as many formal plot synopses mentioned. I won't spoil by hazarding guesses here in this review - but I am really just not clear on what happened and am fairly exasperated that it wasn't written better because it had potential.

Anyway, not bad but I believe the author tried to be too elliptical about the goings on and really diluted the dramatic tension with these narrative choices. I am not sure I would read her again and while its a decent airplane or vacation read - I hesitate to recommend due to the frustration with the last third or so. ( )
  jhowell | Dec 23, 2014 |
The Piano Teacher by Janice Y K Lee is a beautifully written novel. Part love story, part war story it tells the story of two main characters, Will and Claire. The story stretches across ten years and starts in 1942 with Will's love affair with Trudy, a Eurasian socialite. Ten years later Will meets Claire and they embark upon an affair, only for the secrets of his past to impact upon them.

It's wonderfully written and the words really flow well. I was wary about the content originally but once I began reading I found it very easy to get into and follow. The characters, though not always likeable, are realistic (and realistically flawed). Although I can't profess to being very knowledgable about Hong Kong's history, the story seemed to flow well and the events all seemed tangible.

This was a very enjoyable and moving read of two quite different love affairs set within a decade of one another and a story of how it isn't always possible to bury one's own history. Very enjoyable. ( )
  donnambr | Nov 27, 2014 |
didn't want to finish it
  Jemima_Pett | Nov 11, 2014 |
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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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