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The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee
The Piano Teacher is set in Hong Kong during and after World War II. In 1951, a newlywed Englishwoman named Claire comes to Hong Kong with her husband. It's already an unhappy marriage, but the new life is better than the boring one left back in England. Claire gets a job as a piano teacher for a wealthy family, and falls for the family's chauffeur, Will. Her affair opens her eyes to an exotic lifestyle and an island society obsessed with class and race. In 1941, Will was having an affair with a Eurasian woman when the Japanese invaded the island. He was forced into actions necessary to survive and their ramifications overflow into his relationship with Claire. Janice Y. K. Lee's debut novel has received positive reviews with the Chicago Tribune saying, "Evocative, poignant and skillfully crafted, The Piano Teacher is more than an epic tale of war and a tangled, tortured love story. It is the kind of novel one consumes in great, greedy gulps, pausing (grudgingly) only when absolutely necessary."