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The Piano Teacher by Janice Y K Lee
  

The Piano Teacher

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Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 1 July 2009.

A beautifully written love story set in Hong Kong, slipping back and forth between the love affair between the piano teacher of the title and her lover's previous love, set against a backdrop of World War II. Intriguing characters and themes make this an unputdownable read, not only is it an exploration of the love story but also how the characters cope with the effects and aftermath of the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong. Gripping stuff.

If you like Janice Y K Lee you might also like to read books by Roma Tearne.

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Synopsis

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y K Lee

Ambitious, exotic, and a classic book club read, 'The Piano Teacher' is a combination of 'Tenko' meets 'The Remains of the Day'. Sometimes the end of a love affair is only the beginning! 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, with terrible consequences for both of them, and for members of their fragile community who will betray each other in the darkest days of the war.

Ten years later, Claire Pendleton lands in 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 colony's heady social life. She soon begins an affair!only to discover that her lover's enigmatic demeanour hides a devastating past.

As the threads of this compelling and engrossing novel intertwine and converge, a landscape of impossible choices emerges -- between love and safety, courage and survival, the present and above all, the past.

Reviews

'This is a rare and exquisite story. It does exactly what a great novel should do - transports you out of time, out of place, into a world you can feel on your very skin' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of 'Eat, Pray, Love'

'Lovely novel - it has an old-fashioned solidity and craftsmanship and effortlessly recreates the atmosphere of post-war Hong Kong.' Kate Saunders, The Times

'Two love stories lie at the centre of this impressive debut, which explores the moral ambiguities of war, culture, race and romantic love. Intriguing, sad, rivetingly detailed ...' Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail

'This season's Atonement...a first-class steamer ticket to a disappearing Hong Kong.' Elle magazine

About the Author

Janice Y. K. Lee graduated from Harvard College. She worked as a features editor at Elle and Mirabella magazines in New York before becoming a full-time writier. A Korean-American, she currently lives in Hong Kong with her family.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th April 2009

Author

Janice Y K Lee

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Author's Website

www.janiceyklee.com

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Publisher

Harpercollins Publishers

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780007286379

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