The Piano Teacher

The Piano Teacher

by Janice Y.K. Lee

Judy Stanton: The Piano Teacher has all the ingredients of a good read: romance, mystery and intrigue. As a novel set in the 1940s and 50s in Hong Kong, it exposes a time in history when Hong Kong, a British colony, was occupied by the Japanese. The plot, which takes the reader from pre-occupation and wartime to a decade later, has enough twists and turns and personalities to keep you engaged and interested. Some chose financial reward at any cost, others chose a higher moral ground at the cost of love and life as they knew it. Very good read.
Rating: ****

Debbie Weiss: I enjoyed "The Piano Teacher," as I thought it was well written and very interesting. I learned a lot about Hong Kong's history and customs. I was confused for much of the book, though, because the chapters sometimes spoke of Will and Trudy as a couple and then of Will and Claire as a couple. However, as the story unfolded, I realized that the chapters were not in chronological order and it all fell into place.
Rating: ****

Arlene Almas: Claire Pendleton is the piano teacher of the title in 1952 Hong Kong. She is an Englishwoman who moved to Hong Kong with her husband Martin when he was made director of the Water Department there. Claire is hired by Victor and Melody Chen to teach their daughter Locket to play the piano. Their chauffeur, an Englishman named Will, becomes Claire's lover after she meets him at a party. The story shifts between 1952 and 1941-42, during World War II, when American, European, and Canadian residents were crowded into internment camps by the Japanese who occupied Hong Kong. We learn the back stories of Will, Victor Chen, and the intriguing Trudy and her cousin Dominick, as well as those of many other fascinating characters. All the events of the war years are finally revealed to Claire at the end, closing the circle of history and providing her with a fuller understanding of both Will and the Chinese and expatriate residents of her adopted city.
Rating: ****

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