The Weight of a Piano: Book summary and reviews of The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander

The Weight of a Piano

by Chris Cander

The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander X
The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2019
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A tour-de-force about two women and the piano that inexorably ties their lives together through time and across continents, for better and for worse.

In 1962, in the Soviet Union, eight-year-old Katya is bequeathed what will become the love of her life: a Blüthner piano, built at the turn of the century in Germany, on which she discovers everything that she herself can do with music and what music, in turn, does for her. Yet after marrying, she emigrates with her young family from Russia to America, at her husband's frantic insistence, and her piano is lost in the shuffle.

In 2012, in Bakersfield, California, twenty-six-year-old Clara Lundy loses another boyfriend and again has to find a new apartment, which is complicated by the gift her father had given her for her twelfth birthday, shortly before he and her mother died in a fire that burned their house down: a Blüthner upright she has never learned to play. Orphaned, she was raised by her aunt and uncle, who in his car-repair shop trained her to become a first-rate mechanic, much to the surprise of her subsequent customers. But this work, her true mainstay in a scattered life, is put on hold when her hand gets broken while the piano's being moved - and in sudden frustration she chooses to sell it. And what becomes crucial is who the most interested party turns out to be...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Deftly plotted and well written, a gentle meditation on the healing power of art - and its limitations." - Kirkus

"From award-winning author Cander (Whisper Hollow), this beautiful tale of the intersecting stories of Katya and Clara, two strong women working hard to rebuild their shattered lives, is impossible to put down and impossible to forget." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. Cander brilliantly and convincingly expresses music and visual art in her writing, capturing both within a near-alien but surprisingly stunning landscape." - Publishers Weekly

"Strong characterization and attention to detail, whether in the manufacture of a piano or in the desolate beauty of Death Valley, elevate Cander's (Whisper Hollow, 2015) tale about learning to let go of the past." - Booklist

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Author Information

Chris Cander

Chris Cander graduated from the Honors College at the University of Houston, in the city where she was raised and still lives, with her husband, daughter, and son. For seven years she has been a writer-in-residence for Writers in the Schools there. She serves on the Inprint advisory board and stewards several Little Free Libraries in her community. Her first novel, 11 Stories, won the Independent Publisher Gold Medal for Popular Fiction, and her most recent, Whisper Hollow, was long-listed for the Great Santini Fiction Prize by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. She is also the author of The Word Burglar, which won the 2014 Moonbeam Children's Book Award (silver).

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