Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #7) writing

Download eBook The Piano TeacherAuthor Janice Y.K. Lee –

Exotic Hong Kong Takes Center Stage In This Sumptuous Novel, Set In The S And S It S A City Teeming With People, Sights, Sounds, And Smells, And It S Home To A Group Of Foreign Nationals Who Enjoy The Good Life Among The Local Moneyed Set, In A Tight Knit Social Enclave Distanced From The Culture At Large Comfortable, Clever, And Even A Bit Dazzling, They Revel In Their Fancy Dinners And Fun Parties But Their Sheltered Lives Take An Abrupt Turn After The Japanese Occupation, And Though Their Reactions Are Varied Denial, Resistance, Submission The Toll It Takes On All Is Soon Laid Bare Enter Claire Pendleton From London Months After Her Husband Is Transferred To Hong Kong In , She Accepts A Position As A Piano Teacher To The Daughter Of A Wealthy Couple, The Chens Claire Begins To See The Appeal Of The Sweltering City And Is Soon Taken In By The Chen S Driver, The Curiously Underutilized Will Truesdale A Handsome Charmer With A Mysterious Limp, Will Appears To Be The Perfect Companion For Claire, Who S Often Left To Her Own Devices But A Further Examination Leaves Her With Questions Than AnswersAn Intricately Woven Tale Of Lives Changed By Historical Events, Lee S Debut Brings This Hothouse Flower Of A City Alive With Passion, And Imagines Characters Both Unforgettable And Tragic

10 thoughts on “The Piano Teacher

  1. says:

    Two days ago I thought my review of this book would be quite different than it is Two days ago I was on page 113 of this book and I was getting frustrated with the vapid characters who were either spending all their time acting the part of the privileged upper class English ex pats in Hong Kong or in Claire s case stealing trinkets Even the war time surrender of Hong Kong to the Japanese seemed only a minor inconvenience to these people However, a mere 13 pages later, the story rapidly grows teeth.The Piano Teacher tells the story of two separate love affairs in the life of English ex pat Will Truesdale The two events are separated by a span of 12 years In the 1940s, Will is new to Hong Kong and in love with a young Eurasian heiress, Trudy They fill their days and nights with parties and other pleasant diversions Even the war does little to affect their lifestyle, until the Japanese decide to put all the enemy civilians in interment camps Will goes into the camp, but Trudy denies her British citizenship and remains free From this point on, the story turns into a tragically human story of love, betrayal, and loss.In the 1950s, Will has an affair with a young married woman, Claire However, Will and Claire s affair simply provides the framework for the bigger picture of what ultimately happened to Will and Trudy during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong.

  2. says:

    Lee alternates between two different time periods to tell the story of betrayal in war time Hong Kong Does anyone just write a linear story any Seems like every book I pick up these days uses this kind of device I really enjoyed the 1940 s story line of Will and Trudy during the war An Englishman and a Eurasian woman who are in the thick of the pre war social scene and how their lives change when the Japanese invade Hong Kong Will is interned as a prisoner of war and Trudy decides to collaborate to survive Which of course goes awryThe 1950 s storyline is thinner and less compelling Will is now a driver for a rich Chinese businessman Trudy s cousin and he takes up with a naive young Englishwoman who is fresh off the boat with her husband Claire is the piano teacher of the title and unfortunately, she a fairly bland and uninteresting character who simply becomes an empty vessel for the story to flow through I enjoyed reading this book but the journey was satisfying than the destination Read this book for the sense of setting, the vivid image of pre war Hong Kong, the social scene of ex pats and rich locals vying for status but don t expect a plot that will pull you towards a resolution of importance.

  3. says:

    I ve found that it s easy to find World War II literature that focuses on the Holocaust or on the American experience It s harder to find books that explore the non Western experience The Piano Teacher explores how lives in Hong Kong in the 1950s was affected by the Japanese invasion of the British colony during the war.Ultimately, the 1940s parts were compelling I wanted to know about the relationship between Will and Trudy, Will s experience in an internment camp with other Westerners, and Trudy s attempts to make nice with the Japanese and provide for her own survival Claire, the piano teacher of the title, was much less interesting, and despite her title billing never seemed like a true protagonist A young wife new to Hong Kong, Claire finds herself unexpectedly entangled in Will s secrets after they begin their own affair.I d like to learn about Hong Kong in this time period as a result of the 1940s sections of the book, but the 1950s chapters the book switches between the two were just not very interesting, and some character traits for example Claire s thefts that open the book are not carried convincingly throughout the book.

  4. says:

    Interested in of my reviews Visit my blog I didn t enjoy this quite as much as I had hoped The story was riveting however, the characters were tremendously shallow, hard to understand, and extremely hard to like.The StorylineThe story switches points of view between 1953 and 1942 when World War II has struck Hong Kong In 1953, Claire and Martin Pendleton, a recently married English couple, have moved to Hong Kong Claire becomes a piano teacher teaching a young girl named Locket Her parents, the Chens, employ Will Truesdale as their driver whom Claire eventually begins to have an affair with In 1942, Trudy Liang, a Eurasian, and Will Truesdale, an Englishman, are lovers WWII strikes Hong Kong, Will ends up in a POW camp, and Trudy forms some treacherous alliances in order to keep him alive and as safe as possible.ThoughtsThe women in this story were borderline impossible to like Claire s habit of stealing various items from the Chen household was the most strange and it was never really explained There would just be occasional references to her dropping things into her purse maybe it was explained, I may have simply missed it Everyone seemed to be enthralled with Trudy and I couldn t understand why She was charming in an overly obnoxious way and seemed to have quite a big head People have always expected me to be bad and thoughtless and shallow, and I do my best to accommodate their expectations I sink to their expectations, one might say I think it s the ultimate suggestibility of most of us We are social beings We live in a social world with other people and so we wish to be as they see us, even if it is detrimental to ourselves As the story progresses you get the whole story of what she ended up doing because of her love for Will and you can t help but dislike her a little less, except not really I had an emotional disconnect with this story and despite Trudy s protestations of love for Will, I couldn t see it Essentially, I found Trudy s actions to be selfish than not, that all she did was to protect herself Bit of a disappointment from what I had anticipated.

  5. says:

    I completed this novel feeling frustrated and deflated Yee could have expanded what she had so capably initiated.The manner which she utilized to relate this tale is often muddled and confusing The story is set in Hong Kong and weaves back and forth between the 40 s and 50 s She has clearly demonstrated the attitudes of class among the British, Americans and the native people On one hand there are the people who are leading their frivolous existences similar to the Gatsby era and then there are those who humbly serve them Character development was often flat and awkward The time when the Japanese invaded and occupied Hong Kong was horrifying and detailed, but much was left unresolved This chapter in history has been so much aptly addressed in other literature While trying to accomplish this, Yee has given the reader too little, attempting to tell too many stories and then omitting items which could have made her novel satisfying.The actions of her main characters were not clearly defined, nor always resolved satisfactorily The conclusion of the book was abrupt, leaving the main character, the piano teacher suspended in a strange and uncharacteristic situation.

  6. says:

    the salespeople at Borders did me wrong in their defense, i had but 10 minutes on my parking meter and made a hasty decision to buy this book and what a book what a dumb book boring story i kept waiting for the story to get moving and it never did this is a slow story about a bunch of english ex pats living in hong kong and going to parties, having affairs, stealing things Part 2 gets only mildly interesting when the japanese invade.boring boring boring characters i didn t really care what ended happening to them.i found claire to be as chiffony i just made that word up as her dresses which were incessantly describedi found will to be exceptionally dull, just like his name will my apologies to any wills out there maybe he was totally hot and good in bed and trudy ah trudy could i punch her in face pleaaaase she was so terribly annoying i couldn t take it spoiled brat would sum her up every time her name came up i was irritated perhaps the author is anitcipating this becoming a movie so many visual details of dresses and surroundings and sweat beads running down claire s back that had nothing to do with the story so the scene was set for what a dumb story ug i hate dumb books and what s with the name locket it reminds me of michael jackson s kid, Blanket.

  7. says:

    rating bookshelves read edit status Read in March, 2009, read count 1 review The cover of this book, The Piano Teacher, is its saving grace It is a novel that attempts to provide some insights into conditions in Hong Kong prior to, during, and after World War II It is a part of the world where the English, others, and the wealthy Chinese families form a tangled web of relationships On the one hand, we have Will Truesdale who finds himself strangely drawn to a Eurasian sprite of a girl, Trudy Liang, who flaunts her body and her wealth around like snowflake The cover of this book, The Piano Teacher, is its saving grace It is a novel that attempts to provide some insights into conditions in Hong Kong prior to, during, and after World War II It is a part of the world where the English, others, and the wealthy Chinese families form a tangled web of relationships On the one hand, we have Will Truesdale who finds himself strangely drawn to a Eurasian sprite of a girl, Trudy Liang, who flaunts her body and her wealth around like snowflakes in a blizzard Together they wend their way in and around the social scene in that halycon harbor Pearl Harbor, the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, and the containment of civilians who are not Chinese causes a rift in the mentioned characters relationship Trudy, who is part Chinese and part POrtugese, becomes a girl toy of Otsubo, a high ranking gendarme in the Japanese army while simultaneously maintaining a liaison with Will You guessed it Trudy is a pawn in the hands of the Japanese who think that Will can lead them to the whereabouts of the valuable Crown Collection In an effort to obtain the information, she is allowed to entertain Will during weekend passes from Stanley, the containment facility, while at the same time continue to please Otsubo Where does the piano teacher fit into all of this She doesn t until ten years later The war is over, Will has been released, and Hong Kong has been liberated Will is now working as a chaffeur for the Chen s, a wealthy Chinese family who coincidentally have a ten year old daughter named, Locket As fate would have it Claire Pendleton, the wife of a Water Works inspector, becomes the child d piano teacher Will and Claire meet, have a steamy affair which draws the teacher into a mysterious network that binds those characters who have a knowledge of the Crown Collection s whereabouts and those who wish to find it My poor evaluation of the novel is based on what can be summed up as a tale about arrogant, rich people who spend their time, money, and influence on gossip, tea parties, betraying one another and, of course, sex Perhaps Y K Lee is right, This is what the world is really about I just wish that she could have focused her work on what was in the Crown Collection that made it so valuable and less on Will s dalliances with Claire and Trudy.

  8. says:

    Another book that I absolutely loved and could not quit reading A WWII story but this one was told about Japanese Chinese which is not what we usually read about A very mixed up love story about people who were very confused about who they were but by the end of the book seemed to have found themselves and some sort of happiness and peace If you like Drama, I definitely recommend.

  9. says:

    Ambitious Somewhat intriguing Good but not perfect The Piano Teacher definitely turned out to be much different then I thought it would be It s a WWII story for some reason I m drawn to them with flash backs The story takes place in present of the 1950 s Hong Kong, a decade after the war A British woman named Claire arrives with her husband Martin who has obtained a position at a water plant Claire is trying to find her place among the other expatriates and her new surroundings She doesn t feel that she quite fits in One of her fellow expats finds her a position as a piano teacher to a young girl from an affluent Chinese family, the Chens The Chens have a British chauffeur named Will Truesdale The Chens have some secrets and Will Truesdale is somehow associated in this hidden past that leads back to a time before and heightened during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during the war Through flash backs we learn the story What life was like before the war and during the war what people did to survive We learn about the love of Wills life Trudy and why she s not present in Will s 1950 s life yet Claire is So, let s just get to it I found the good parts good and the others..blah It took this book a long time to get really started Slow start but once it did pick up I began to like it I liked hearing about what it was like for the expatriate socialites in Hong Kong before the war I could just picture the carefree fun they had with all the nationality of a certain economic status melding together Trudy was one wild character and Will seemed to languidly glide along with her going with the flow Everything was a gas and great shebang of a good time until the war was actually at their doorstep and then sh got real This is location experiencing the effects of WWII that I d never heard about I understand every part of the world at that time experienced something Some form of lunacy was everywhere and it was interesting to hear what it meant to this part of the world I didn t know the Japanese went in and took Hong Kong before the Allies arrived I didn t know that all the residents of enemy nations were sent to Internment camps in jail buildings It was good to have a bit of a history lesson I liked that about this book What I didn t care for much was the flashing back and forth with no rhyme or reason I didn t know why when I thought things were going along fine and I was interested in what I was reading, the next page was time traveling again It got so back and forth toward the end it started to frustrate me a bit and make me feel like, alright already just tell me Also, these secretsto me weren t really secrets Or worth the secrecy It seems as if the author wanted the reader to feel a sense of this mystery but I just was not mystified And once the supposed hidden things were brought to light I thought I missed it I felt like Wait. What I was also miffed by the fact that there were too major relationships in this book but not a stitch of romance or even emotional intimacy Anything close to a connection was glazed over What strange representations of love To sum up, I liked it but it was missing a few components that could have made it really good It was ok, with potential but instead it just laid back I thought it was taking off but then I d turn the page time to do the time warp again I give this book a 3 stars I do recommend this to Historical fiction readers.

  10. says:

    It is so hard to believe that this is a debut novel I found it wonderfully written and I was drawn in immediately The story starts out in 1952 as we are introduced to Claire Pendleton, recent arrival in Hong Kong with her much older husband, Martin Claire has been hired by the socially prominent Chen family to teach Locket Chen the piano When the Chen family invites Claire and her husband to a party, she meets Will Truesdale, the Chen chauffer The Chen family and Will Truesdale figure prominently in this novel from the beginning to the end.The story then goes back and forth from 1941 to 1953 as the characters are introduced in preparation for possible invasion by the Japanese With the use of flashback mode and differing points of view, we see the growth in the characters and how the war deeply affects them all Will s importance is slowly revealed when the reader is taken back to 1941 and the beginning of his passionate affair with Trudy Liang, a young, spoiled Eurasion Trudy has numerous connections with the Hong Kong community and has a tremendous emotional impact on Will Written with exquisite detail as to location, the reader can immerse themselves into the environs of Hong Kong It is easy to visualize the center with its European, classical style building and yet, not far away, the local market with its narrow alley ways and frenetic activity amid smoky stalls and clamorous noise I felt like I was walking with Claire as she becomes familiar with her new home With her seamless segueing between decades, the character development is tremendous The characters are so well fleshed out as to emotion and vulnerability, the reader will feel as if they are truly alive Their emotions and feelings just seem to leap off the page.Lee unfolds each complex layer bit by bit without missing a beat When the lives of all the characters come to a point of convergence, the past haunts the present in the many intertwined relationships Alliances forged during the war will have long reaching consequences long after the war is over People who had high positions now are brought to new lows, the war being the great equalizer It all comes down to a matter of survival and the lengths people will go to cope with the horrors and atrocities of war There are so many elements in the telling of this story romance, loyalty, betrayal, secrets, history along with social commentary The peripheral characters are easily woven into the story with their own interesting sub plots The surprising twists at the end only add to the enjoyment of this novel The progression of the story is orderly with no superfluous details and with a wonderfully engrossing plot, this book is sure to be a success I absolutely loved it 5