So far in 2009, I've been reading at a blistering pace, for me anyway. I think I increased my pace in December to ensure I'd reach my 2008 goal and I guess I haven't slowed down. This reading, combined with my new addiction to Lost has sure cut into my blogging! I'm currently in the middle of Season 3 of Lost and am still loving it, still intrigued. To tell you the truth though, I'm really glad I'm watching it like this. I cannot imagine having waited 2 1/2 years to get to the point where I am now! It's also much easier, I think, to keep track of all the little details.
On to the reviews.
The Risk of Darkness by Susan Hill
This is the third of the Simon Serrailler books and if you are interested in my thoughts on the first books see here and here. I liked this one better than the second. As usual, this is a completely atypical mystery. The mystery of the kidnapped children that was begun in the second book is finally resolved in a sense and much of the book is questioning the why of it all. There are a couple other story lines going on, as always, plenty about Simon's sister and her family, and much about Simon's inner struggles with women and his career. I have to say, Simon is not the most likable character and I wanted to scream at him at one point, okay, two. He has major issues with women. This was a good book to take with me on my trip and I'm sure I'll be reading the fourth soon.
The Piano Teacher by Janice Lee
How gorgeous is that cover?? The Piano Teacher is the story of Claire Pendleton, a young British woman, recently married, who arrives in Hong Kong in 1952. Claire seems young and immature, somewhat unsure of herself, and her marriage seems like it was a bit of an escape for her. Claire enjoys herself in Hong Kong and begins teaching piano to the daughter of a well-to-do family, the Chens. There she meets Will Truesdale, also British, but who has never lived in Britain. He is, somewhat unusually, the Chen's driver. Claire and Will begin a relationship that quickly turns into an affair, one that gives Claire something she does not have in her marriage -passion, but Will keeps his emotional distance.
The story is interspersed with chapters about Will's life in Hong Kong in 1942. Young and handsome, he is the boyfriend of beautiful society girl Trudy Liang. When the Japanese arrive in Hong Kong, everything changes and along with all the other British citizens, Will is placed in a camp while Trudy remains on the outside. I thought this section was the best part of the book. The last section of the novel deals with Claire's realization of how the war affected Will's life, and how she deals with her relationships with Will and her husband.
I enjoyed the setting of this book, Hong Kong, and learning what life might have been like there during the war. The Piano Teacher didn't have that little something extra that makes me love a book or find it to be a great read. However, it is well written and I found it to be an enjoyable read. Many thanks to Libraything's Early Reviewer Program for sending it to me.