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The Piano Teacher

A Novel

Lee, Janice Y. K.

(Book - 2009)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Piano Teacher
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In the sweeping tradition of The English Patient, a gripping tale of love and betrayal set in war-torn Hong Kong. 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.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2009.
ISBN: 0670020486
9780670020485
Characteristics: 328 p. ;,24 cm.

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Jul 09, 2014
  • ownedbydoxies rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

While this is an interesting story, and well-written, it was difficult for me to feel much empathy for the characters who, with all their wealth and privilege, seemingly only live to abuse that wealth and privilege and hang onto their status without being bothered by any stirrings of conscience. I wouldn't recommend this one, although it had enough to it that I did finish it.

Sep 11, 2013
  • thomasnah rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed reading this book. This tale of the love triangle of two women and an English man who had fallen in love in different periods between 1940 and 1950 in Hong Kong. You will learn about the mixing of the West and the East, the rich and the poor, the loyal and the betrayed, and war and peace in the melting pot of Hong Kong in this historical era.

May 14, 2012
  • vwruleschick rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Follow Will and Trudy in their hey-days in 1940s, and now after the fact with Claire and Will in 1950s and find out what really happened years before on when the Japanese took over Hong Kong. Where did Trudy go? Why is Will so guarded? What Claire sees in Will? What were the Chens hiding?

East meets West in mid-century Hong Kong. Recommended for book clubs.

Dec 07, 2010
  • lightbytheway rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I went through half the book, I wasn't feeling it. I may give it another try sometime.

May 14, 2010
  • blolo rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This was a great book - one that I'll be recommending to people. its greatest strength comes from creating "atmosphere"... while you're reading it, its like you're truly being transported into another time and place.

There are actually two stories - taking place about 15 years apart - that are both engaging... and interconnected.

The book raises some questions about survival vs. living with integrity... without offering any easy answers, imo. there are some characters who seem to be clearly in the wrong (totally opportunistic) and then there are some who really are just stuck between a rock and a hard palce, and have to make very difficult choices.

I really loved this book. It's the best one I've read so far this year.

May 28, 2009
  • jennturner rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A quick easy read. Enjoyable. Nothing too deep but an interesting look at certain aspects of life in Hong Kong, both pre and post WWII.

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Sep 11, 2013
  • thomasnah rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

thomasnah thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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app09 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52