emmejo, September 5, 2013 (view all comments by emmejo)
In 1941 Will arrives in Hong Kong and is swept into the elaborate social swirl where he meets beautiful, wealthy Trudy Liang and they begin an intense romance that is fractured and complicated by WWII.
A decade later, Claire arrives in Hong Kong to work for a family as their daughter's piano teacher and finds herself in the midst of a scandal left by Trudy and Will.
This book was a quick, engaging read, but none of the characters appealed to me. I can deal with that pretty well, focusing on the historical events and culture clash, but those who expect a character-driven story to involve likable characters will probably be frustrated.
Lee does an excellent job crafting this world, showing the many different circles of the societies that different characters move in.
Prentise Wylie, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Prentise Wylie)
Similar to "The Splendor of Silence" in its history of world war in 1942 affecting the "foreign" countries that British and Americans are living in ("Spendor" in Burma and India; "Piano Teacher" in Hong Kong) and the relations between people of different variations on the human race, this book also deeply conveys the moral, spiritual, social, cultural, sexual, political, government, economic, housing, and food practices, beliefs, and conflicts of various peoples.
I found the characters and story line vivid and believable, the dialogue natural, and the punctuation excellent (there are so many books with bad punctuation that detracts from the reading, that this is worth mentioning).
It is so wonderful to experience culture and history through the bodies and minds of seemingly real characters, so that we feel the truth of that history and culture, those people, in a way that carries on through time into our own present reality.
Lindsay Waite, August 9, 2012 (view all comments by Lindsay Waite)
I read this book quickly because I wanted to know how it ended (not usually the case). The Piano Teacher was interesting to me from the historical perspective. I knew little about Japan and the Chinese during WWII, and this book, set in Hong Kong, was an eye-opener. I liked the fact that the book moved between the early 1940s and 1950s, showing certain characters in both time frames. What fell flat for me was the development of Claire. Had there been more of a back story to explain her restlessness, pilfering, and her life after Will, I think it would have been more meaningful to me.
From the New York Timesbestselling author of Me Before You, a spellbinding love story of two women separated by a century but united in their determination to fight for what they love most
Jojo Moyess bestseller, Me Before You, catapulted her to wide critical acclaim and has struck a chord with readers everywhere. Hopelessly and hopefully romantic” (Chicago Tribune), Moyes returns with another irresistible heartbreaker that asks, Whatever happened to the girl you left behind?”
France, 1916: Artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his young wife, Sophie, to fight at the front. When their small town falls to the Germans in the midst of World War I, Edouards portrait of Sophie draws the eye of the new Kommandant. As the officers dangerous obsession deepens, Sophie will risk everything—her family, her reputation, and her life—to see her husband again.
Almost a century later, Sophies portrait is given to Liv Halston by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. A chance encounter reveals the paintings true worth, and a battle begins for who its legitimate owner is—putting Livs belief in what is right to the ultimate test.
Like Sarah Blakes The Postmistress and Tatiana de Rosnays Sarahs Key, The Girl You Left Behind is a breathtaking story of love, loss, and sacrifice told with Moyess signature ability to capture our hearts with every turn of the page.
"A rare and exquisite story...Transports you out of time, out of place, into a world you can feel on your very skin." -Elizabeth Gilbert
In the sweeping tradition of The English Patient, Janice Y.K. Lee's debut novel is a tale of love and betrayal set in war-torn Hong Kong. In 1942, Englishman Will Truesdale falls headlong into a passionate relationship with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. But their affair is soon threatened by the invasion of the Japanese as World War II overwhelms their part of the world. Ten years later, Claire Pendleton comes to Hong Kong to work as a piano teacher and also begins a fateful affair. As the threads of this spellbinding novel intertwine, impossible choices emerge-between love and safety, courage and survival, the present, and above all, the past.
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