Monday, March 16, 2009

43 - The Piano Teacher; Janice Y. K. Lee

The Piano Teacher: A Novel, by Janice Y. K. Lee was a very different read for me. For this one I had both the printed version and the audio version, as I found certain parts of the book a bit difficult to follow. I was not sure I would like this book, but in the end, I thought it was an enjoyable debut novel.
As the story begins in 1952, we meet Claire Pendleton who just arrived in Hong Kong with her older husband, Martin. Claire has been hired by The Chens, a prominent family, to teach their daughter Locket to play the piano. Claire is invited to an elegant cocktail party where she meets Will Truesdale, the Chen family chauffeur. Claire is immediately attracted to Will, and before long the two begin a torrid affair.
The story then goes back and forth to pre and post WWII, covering the years 1941 – 1953, As the story unfolds bit by bit, long buried secrets are revealed, including the story surrounding Will’s love affair in the early 40’s with Trudy, a beautiful socialite. The story, however, is much more than a love story about one man and two different women. It is a story that turns tragic and we see how every choice one makes has a consequence associated with it.
I did not find the characters in this story to be very likable, but they were well-developed. To me, they were self absorbed, cruel, judgmental and scheming. The writing however, was excellent, and I loved how the story unfolded, culminating with a shocker of an ending.
The Piano Teacher: A Novel is recommended for anyone enjoying historical fiction.
RATING - 4/5 - COMPLETED – 3/16/09


  1. Thank you for this review. I am a fan of historical fiction but not really the one set in 20th cen.
    I don't know, maybe I'll try it out.

  2. I've heard really good things about this book. It reminds me of something I've read, but I can't think of what it is right now. hmmm

  3. Interesting. I'm so unsure about this one. I love HF, but if I don't have at least one character to love, I can find a book hard going. Guess I won't know until I try.

  4. I felt awfully so-so about this book. It was written well I thought, but I never really felt 'wow' about it. I did enjoyed the middle section more than the beginning and the end.

  5. I ordered THE PIANO TEACHER and waiting for amazon to send it.
    Thank-you for visiting my blog, I do enjoy "THE POTATO LITERARY...." it is a must read. You won't be disappointed.

  6. You're review is posted here:

    I hope you'll join us for the 2010 challenge on the Vietnam War


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