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The Weight of a Piano

Narrated by: Lyssa Browne
Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

For fans of Ann Patchett's Bel Canto, Annie Proulx's Accordion Crimes or Amanda Coplin's The Orchardist.

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, 26-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 12th 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.... 

©2019 Chris Cander (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Immense, intense and imaginative…Cander is a smart, deft storyteller [and] understands how something as beloved as a piano can actually be a burden." (New York Times)

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