The Piano TeacherAuthor: Janice J K Lee
Featured in the December January, 2008-09 magazine
Add this book to your reading list
Reading Notes1. Janice Y K Lee sets The Piano Teacher in the same place – Hong Kong – but at different times: before the Second World War, during the war years and in its aftermath. What do you think the author has achieved by doing this? Is this an effective technique?
2. The collision of East and West, and its repercussions, is a strong theme in The Piano Teacher. To what extent are these two worlds different? Which characters embody this theme?
3. Trudy and Claire are two very different women who both fall in love with the same man. How would you compare their relationships with Will and who, would you argue, is his true love and why?
4. The Piano Teacher brings to life a specific period in global history. In what ways has life changed? In what ways has it stayed the same? From the portrait Janice Y K Lee paints, would you say these changes are for the better or for the worse?
5. Do you sympathise with Melody Chen? Do your feelings towards her change as the story progresses? If so, then when and why?
6. In Part III, Hugh Trotter states that ‘wartime makes different animals of us all’. How does the author highlight the impact of the Second World War on her characters’ lives? In what ways does the war shape and change them?
7. How would you describe this book’s genre? Is it a thriller, a mystery or a love story?