Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Reading My Books - The Piano Teacher

This book was a fantastic read!  I know, after all of my ho hum book reviews lately you didn't think that I would start a review off with those words did you.

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y K Lee was given to me as a gift quite a few - really QUITE! - years ago now, and it sat on the shelf.  For some reason I wasn't sure about it.  Perhaps it was the tagline "This seasons Atonement" on the cover.  I never really got Atonement.

With my project to get my books read firmly on the agenda now for the last couple of years, when I reached this one on the shelf I had to read it though and I duly have.  Well, actually I have to tell you that as I am writing this I still have the last couple of pages to read, but I skimmed ahead and feel that I can give you the review now.  I loved it that much, I am that anxious to share it with you.


The story follows the lives of the newly married Claire Pendleton who has just moved to Hong Kong, and Will Truesdale and Trudy Liang.  The book is based on historical fact and events that took place during the Second World War in Hong Kong, although it is obviously a work of fiction.  I think that made me enjoy it even more because there was a sense of reality throughout the whole book.  It really carried the story along very well and added an additional layer of interest.

There are two stories running concurrently though the book. that of Claire and Will and then that of Trudy and Will.  There is some violence, but firmly rooted in historical fact and nothing gratuitous.  While I wouldn't recommend it to a very young person an older teen onwards could enjoy this book, because there is no bad language - you know how I feel about that! - there are some "intimate" moments, but again these are part of the story, not just there for the sake of it.

I learned more about life in Hong Kong during this period too which I enjoyed.  You have to sweep some things aside because it is history, we wouldn't do them now, but that was life then.

As I said, Claire has just married and moves with her husband to Hong Kong and they set up home and their very small suburban 1950's lives.  Will has been living there for a lot longer and his and Trudy's story is told mostly during 1941 when Hong Kong was invaded by Japan and then on to the end of the war.  Will and Claire meet 10 years later and it is through their growing relationship that the story is told.

I don't want to say too much otherwise I fear I will give too much of the plot away.  What I can say though is this is a really good read, it makes you want to keep going and find out what is happening and where the story is going to go.  You might think you know and then perhaps you are not so sure.  Some things I figured out, others not so.

What would I rate this book?  10 out of 10!

How is your reading going?  Have you read any good books lately.  Do feel free to share.  Also let me know what you think about fictional books set during historical fact.  Do you enjoy them?

Happy Reading!

Amy

Amy

p.s. you can find all of my other book reviews here.

21 comments:

  1. I like fictionalised accounts of historical events. I find it adds some realism to the story. This sounds like a good read.

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  2. Isn't it great when you find a book that you can't put down. I think lots of the books I read are good but there's only the odd one every once in a while that I'd give ten out of ten. Glad you enjoyed this one.

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  3. I do love a good book review at this time of year. Always helpful! Amazon, here I come.

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  4. Hi Amy! I think I've had this book - every now and again my parents in law pass me on some books that they've read and think I'd enjoy too. Sadly, I haven't read much over the last few years and I think I gave The Piano Teacher back to them without reading it. I'd like to read it now after your review. I've gotten back to reading last summer and hopefully they still have the book somewhere in their house. x

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  5. IT looks like a great book Amy, thank you for suggesting it.

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  6. Hi Amy, Thanks for the recommendation - I've added it to my Amazon wish list. If you are interested in other books set in Hong Kong, I thoroughly recommend "Gweilo" by Martin Booth. It is a memoir of his Hong Kong childhood, and is a delightful read. There aren't many books I can claim to have read twice, but I have this one!

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  7. Isn't it lovely when you have a really good book. It sounds very interesting I'll add it to my ever growing list xx

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  8. Reading this review by you makes me put this book on my to read soon list, after I buy a copy. Thanks.

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  9. This sounds like a really riveting read. I shall keep an eye out for it.]
    Thanks for sharing.
    Lisa x

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  10. It sounds like a good read Amy it's now on my wish list, I'm reading free kindle books at the moment and am quite enjoying them it's amazing how many good free reads there are. :) x

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  11. Sounds like a good story. Thanks for the recommendation.
    Amalia
    xo

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  12. I have been reading books by Coleen Coble through our library system for ereaders and she has written a few good series.

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  13. Sounds like an interesting read, Amy. I will look our for it at the library:)

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  14. Sounds like a good book. I'm trying to get through the many piles of books in my house before tackling any more. Getting through my books is definitely a to-do thing for next year. I love books. Sigh.

    I enjoy reading Susanna Kearsley books. They mix some history with modern day stories. Very enjoyable.

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  15. Hi Amy. Just popping by to say I don't mind at all if you want to copy/share/use the idea of the blog visiting schedule I posted about. Like I said it's all about getting the balance right and if reading my thoughts helps you then I'm pleased to have shared, after all that's what blogging is all about.
    Lisa x

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  16. Hi Amy, I have been really disappointed with the few books that I have read lately but I think that just might be me ha! This sounds like a good one though, I am glad you enjoyed it xx

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  17. Struggling to find time at the moment but I am hoping for a me time December.

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  18. Read every day and love when I find a book that is hard to put down.. Love the II World War stories.. May give this a try... Thanks.. xo

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  19. I will definitely be putting this one on my to-be-read list. Thanks for the review.

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  20. Sounds like a keeper! Thanks for a nice review!

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  21. I have added this to my Good Reads "want to read" list, it sounds such an interesting read.

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