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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 as World War II overwhelms their part of the world. Will is sent to an internment camp, where he and other foreigners struggle daily for survival.
Meanwhile, Trudy remains outside, forced to form dangerous alliances with the Japanese - in particular, the malevolent head of the gendarmerie, whose desperate attempts to locate a priceless collection of Chinese art lead to a chain of terrible betrayals.
Ten years later, Claire Pendleton comes to 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 heady social life of the expatriate community. At one of its elegant cocktail parties, she meets Will, to whom she is instantly attracted - but as their affair intensifies, Claire discovers that Will’s enigmatic persona hides a devastating past. As she begins to understand the true nature of the world she has entered, and long-buried secrets start to emerge, Claire learns that sometimes the price of survival is love.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Martha Finney on 12-19-09
Wonderful, and the narrator a jewel
I'm dismayed to see such vicious reviews about this book and its audio production. Although I've been an audible.com member for over 5 years, this is the first time I've been moved to write a review - for good or ill. And before getting started, I thought I'd read the two reviews before me. Is it possible they listened to the same book????
I found this story to be completely engrossing, with such richly drawn characters and an introduction to a world I knew nothing about. I was captured completely, pretty much to the exclusion of everything else going on in my life. (Thankfully it's the holidays so nothing much is being expected of me right now.)
And the narrator, I thought, was absolutely amazing. Her acting is nuanced and insightful. Her variety of accents was perfect. And I actually will seek out books she's narrated. Please keep using her!
I really don't know what my two predecessor reviewers were talking about. I thought it was terrific.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful
By Sarah on 01-01-17
Great Story, Great Narrator. Enjoyed Immensely!
I ordered this book without reading the reviews because it is this month's selection for one of my book clubs. After listening for a few hours and thinking what a great choice it was and how glad I was I ordered the audible version I went back to the review page to see what others had said - I was shocked to see a number of listeners had the exact opposite response! I consider this to be one of the best audio books I've listened to this year. The story was intriguing and gave a detailed glimpse into life in Hong Kong, before WW II, during and after.
Hong Kong is a place I know nothing about, I'm sorry to confess, so I can only assume the picture Ms. Lee paints is accurate. The characters were complex and the story emerges at just the right pace, mixing an unusual romance, well two romances actually, with the horrors of life under the Japanese occupation.
The narration was exquisite - once again my impression of the reading was the exact opposite of the negative comments - I found the various accents believable and natural sounding, Ms. Cassidy has a lovely voice - a couple of times I would have emphasized a different word in a sentence but that is quite common in an audio book and certainly forgivable. I only mention it here because someone complained as if it was frequent in this book and I honestly only noticed it twice.
I sat and knitted for hours listening to The Piano Teacher and was sorry to have it end. Take a chance and get it if you have a credit to spend - I think you will like it and if you don't, there is always the Audible guarantee.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful