Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Piano Teacher

This book was recommended to me by, can you guess? yes, Erin. She gave me quite a few books and I read some of them and others sat on my shelf. This was one of the books that sat on my shelf for a while. To be honest, I was not thrilled with the cover of the book. I judged it and thought that it was going to be cheesy, so it was not on my priority list of books. I brought it with me to Montana as a back up in case I got through the books I had planned to read. I finished my other books so I decided to read it, and I am so glad that I did.

The internet would not let me copy and paste a picture in my blog, so here is a link to a New York Times book review. Also, here is the author's website. Below is my review:

Will Truesdale, a life loving, easy going British man moves to Hong Kong and falls madly in love with exotic and outgoing Trudy Liang. She is a beautiful Eurasian (half Chinese, half Portuguese) socialite. The two of them go to parties, social events, and the beach constantly. Life could not be any better for these two. Their relationship is threatened when World War II starts and Japan invades Hong Kong. Anyone who is not Chinese is forced to go to POW camps which are separated by nationality. People on the inside of the POW camps are treated like criminals and people on the outside are witnesses to terrible crimes committed by the Japanese; lynching, rapes, and looting. Can their relationship survive the war?

Ten years later, Will is still in Hong Kong. Something happened to Trudy and Will will never be the same. He is no longer the man who loved life. He works as a driver for Trudy's cousin as opposed to running around in the same social crowd. He lives his life remorseful, regretful, and completely full of sorrow until he meets Claire Pentleton who also works for Trudy's cousin. Claire moved to Hong Kong from England with her husband that she did not marry for love. She is a young girl who is dying for opportunities and wants nothing more than to be "someone."  They begin an illicit affair and Will begins to show some small signs of happiness again, although he mostly remains miserable. Throughout their affair, Will begins to bring up the past and what happened during the war. Secrets are revealed and pain is brought back to the surface. 

I enjoyed this book because I am a fan of historical fiction. The story was also deeply layered. The author intricately revealed information at just the right time to make the entire story come together in the end to reveal a breath taking and shocking secret. My only negative about the book is that I did not truly understand Claire, the piano teacher's role. She was important in the fact that many people chose to tell her information about the past because she was close to Will. If people told Claire things then they hoped that she would tell Will. Claire was a pawn in the story where Will was the main character. Overall it was a good book. On a scale of 1-10 I would give it an 8. It was a New York Times Bestseller and was worth the read! 


PS I am super excited about the next few books that I am going to post about. Stay tuned for some great summer reading!

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