The Piano Teacher, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (5 ratings)


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.


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Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.

Review by

I found this book a little hard to follow at first as it regularly skips between 2 different time periods with different (but interlocking) characters. However, by the 2nd section I was hooked. A dramatic and sometimes heartwrenching story of how the 2nd World War affected the lives of 2 women and a man living in Hong Kong. Filled with insights into daily life and the cultural tension. Well worth a read.

Review by

JANICE Y K LEE: The Piano TeacherA holiday read in 2009.The conversation with Janice YK Lee at the end of book reveals how the novel started out as a short story and then developed with the introduction of new characters. It took five years to complete and was a process of writing and writing about what the characters did and said.Along with this went extensive research into Hong Kong in World War II that gives the novel its fascinating and vivid detail. Janice YK Lee says she hoped people can really sink themselves into the world that is portrayed in the book. I certainly did sink into it myself, the atmosphere of Hong Kong during the occupation and the post war period was so finely recreated, the social scene, clothes, mannerisms, the food, were all drawn in fine detail.The central characters Trudy, Will and Claire were all flawed and believable. I enjoyed the characters so much, the plot and the story were secondary. The plot – the Crown Collection – a hoard of precious artefacts being hidden away during the war and finally being unearthed and returned to the Chinese in a shady deal – was almost superfluous, it was the experience.General Fiction NovelPublished in 2009HarperCollins

Review by

Simply brilliant. Incredibly witty yet invaluably informative, interlaced with some of the atrocities of the 'modern world'. Despite this a light, enjoyable read that stays with you. I have enjoyed all of her books thus far but this one tops them all.

Review by

Hong Kong in WW2/early 1950's. Love story with Will, Trudy and Claire

Review by

Didn't know what I would think of this but I quite enjoyed it. Glimpses of HK during and after WW2 the most interesting aspects of this. Didn't particularly care for the main characters. An easy read.

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