Although I have been reading plenty of books and have several on the go it has been a long time since I did a book review.  I thought it was about time I changed that.

Synopsis (from the book cover):

Two beautiful women.  One mysterious man.  Separated by culture, class and war.

In the heat and bustle of 1950s Hong Kong, newlywed Claire Pendleton is changing from an uptight English wallflower to a beautiful, graceful bloom.  Then she meets Will, driver to wealthy Chinese couple the Chens, when she takes the job of piano teacher to their daughter.  His enigmatic presence enthrals and excites her.

A decade earlier, with war looming, Eurasian beauty Trudy Liang casts her own spell of fascination.  A social butterfly, she is a thing of mystery – and intrigue.  She knows everyone worth knowing in Hong Kong – Chinese and foreign, good and bad, rich and poor.  Including a newly arrived young Englishman – the magnetic Will Truesdale…


The novel is set in Hong Kong at the time of the Japanese invasion.  As well as being a love story it is also a historical novel.  The story switches backwards and forwards between two periods of time, 1941-42 and 1952-53.  The book describes what it was like at that time and how the invasion affected the lives of the people who lived there before, during and after the invasion.

The characters are well drawn and in some cases intriguing.  I found the story compelling it was difficult to put the book down.  It one of those books where just have to keep reading one more page.  The story line keeps you guessing right up until the end so I haven’t gone into the plot in too much detail so it doesn’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read the book.

16 Comments CherryPie on Jul 6th 2010

16 Responses to “The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee”

  1. jameshigham says:

    Two beautiful women. One mysterious man.

    I like the odds for a start.

  2. Ellee says:

    Yes, it sounds right up James” streeet! ;-)

  3. Chrissy says:

    LOL at the comment…sounds like a really enjoyable read. I don’t think I have done a book review which is a little sad maybe.

    • CherryPie says:

      The comment made me laugh too :-)

      I don’t think my book reviews are very good, but I do like to share what I have been reading. I need to play a bit of catch up to include some of the other books I have read.

  4. Sounds interesting and very, very different from Elfriede Jelinek’s book of the same title!

  5. midwesttomidlands says:

    Sounds like a good book. I like thae kind where you can’t put it down till you get to the end.

  6. Ruth says:

    I thought I recognised the title, but it was the film from the book Jams refers to that I was thinking of. As you both say, this sounds very different.
    Thanks for the review – interesting.

  7. It does sound interesting – another one for my list.

  8. sally says:

    sounds good and i may add it to my list. Its great to be reading again but with all the other things i do it takes me so long to get through a book :-( now with my new project it will take even longer lol

    • CherryPie says:

      I never manage to read as many books as I would like. I have a big pile of ‘too read’! One of my friends manages to read at least 4 books a month and still do lots of campaigning and work, I wish I knew the secret ;-)