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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.)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,5511004,726 (3.36)120
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)

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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 95 (next | show all)
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 |
Stopped listening after the 2nd tape. Lots of parties, gossip and unlikeable characters. Never could quite get into the multiple time lines and the roles multiple characters assumed. ( )
  Pmaurer | Nov 1, 2014 |
This is the story of life in Hong Kong during and after WWII.
A story of an English wife and a culture that gives her options.
Claire comes to Hong Kong as a lily white, sheltered, rich little girl. She falls into a job as a piano teacher for an equally spoiled little girl in a very wealthy Hong Kong family - a family with a checkered war past. Out of boredom she begins pocketing trinkets from the family - including a bottle of perfume.

It is that scent that eventually connects her to Will Truesdale - a man of an unknown past but who holds the story of life during the war and a connection to famed Trudy - the woman who first used the perfume Claire found.

This story tells the horrible truth of living in a war torn country and trying to continue with life. People stoop to unexpected lows and climb to incredible heights to continue.

Interesting read ( )
  kebets | Nov 1, 2014 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
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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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