04 December 2018

Today's Read: The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander

The Weight of a Piano by Chris CanderWhat if you found yourself in possession of something you couldn't keep but that was your last link to your parents? This is what happens to 26-year-old Clara, when she realizes she must sell her piano, which is the only thing she owns that belonged to her late-parents. What ensues after she places her Craigslist ad, was totally unexpected.

Here's how the book starts:

Hidden in the dense forests high in the Romanian mountains, where the winters were especially cold and long, were spruce tress that would be made into pianos: exquisite instruments famous for the warmth of their tone and beloved by the likes of Schumann and Liszt. One man alone knew how to choose them.
The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander (Knopf, January 23, 2019)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: 1960s, Soviet Union; modern times, California
  • Circumstances: In 1962, Russia, 8-year-old Katya inherits a beautiful Blüthner upright piano, built in Germany at the start of the century. Her piano and music are her passions, so when the instrument is lost during a time when she and her husband have a chance to immigrate to America, she is devastated. In 2012, Clara, an orphan, has only one physical connection to her parents: a Blüthner upright piano that she never learned to play. When her living circumstances change, she realizes she probably has to sell the piano. Greg, a photographer, wants to buy it, but Clara is not sure she can part with her family treasure. After Greg and Clara meet and she agrees to lease him the instrument, their lives are changed forever.
  • Genre: literary fiction, with some historical fiction elements; not strictly a dual-time-period story
  • Themes: loss, family, music, photography, the arts, the natural environment, relationships
  • Why I want to read this book: I've seen several reviews that say this novel is perfect for fans of Ann Patchett, Annie Proulx, and/or Amanda Coplin. I like the idea of this book and the tie between the arts, pain, and possible healing. It's earned a gazillion starred reviews, and has a 3.8-star rating on Goodreads.
  • An extra: I bet The Weight of a Piano would be a great book club pick, and a reading guide is available.
  • Acknowledgments: thanks to Knopf's for the review copy of Chris Cander's The Weight of a Piano.


bermudaonion 12/4/18, 6:52 AM  

What a unique premise! I'd love to give this book a try.

Laurel-Rain Snow 12/4/18, 10:29 AM  

I love a unique premise, like this one, which also brings up familiar themes of family, loss, and sentimental possessions.

Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “I’VE GOT MY EYES ON YOU”

Margot 12/4/18, 11:07 AM  

This sounds different, but something I'd like to try.

Kathy Martin 12/4/18, 11:13 AM  

This sounds good. Not my genre but I would read it. This week I am featuring The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal. Happy reading!

Yvonne 12/4/18, 11:35 AM  

This is a different than the books I usually read and grabs my interest right away. I like different :)

Nise' 12/4/18, 1:26 PM  

I like the premise of this novel and will keep my eye out for it.

Vicki 12/4/18, 3:25 PM  

Seems I'm in the minority, I don't think this is a book for me.

rhapsodyinbooks 12/5/18, 7:50 AM  

Sounds really good - I hadn't heard of it!

Girl Who Reads 12/5/18, 6:48 PM  

Sounds like a lovely story. Thanks for stopping by Girl Who Reads.

Sue Jackson 12/6/18, 7:26 PM  

Oh, this does sound good! I like when a novel has two intertwining stories from different time periods, and this one sounds intriguing.


Book By Book

Tina 12/7/18, 10:38 AM  

Ah, another one for the list, I really want to get this one. That's a dynamite story line.

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