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The Weight of a Piano

By: Chris Cander

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Imprint: Knopf

Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780525654674

Other Formats:

Electronic | Trade Paperback | Audiobook Download

On Sale: | Pages: 336

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In 1962, in the Soviet Union, eight-year-old Katya is bequeathed what will become the love of her life: a Blüthner piano, on which she discovers an enrichening passion for music. Yet after she marries, her husband insists the family emigrate to America—and loses her piano in the process. In 2012, in Bakersfield, California, twenty-six-year-old Clara Lundy is burdened by the last gift her father gave her before he and her mother died in a terrible house fire: a Blüthner upright she has never learned to play. Now a talented and independent auto mechanic, Clara’s career is put on hold when she breaks her hand trying to move the piano, and in sudden frustration she decides to sell it. Only in discovering the identity of the buyer—and the secret history of her piano—will Clara be set free to live the life of her choosing.
“The Weight of a Piano” throws a lot into the Cuisinart — it's immense, intense and imaginative.... There's a lot to process here, but Cander is a smart, deft storyteller who holds her Scriabin-worthy tale together. She understands how something as beloved as a piano can actually be a burden. She also understands the inner workings of a Blüthner, just as she seems to understand carburetors and brakes. I'd probably let her work on my piano — or my car.
—New York Times
Chris Cander proves herself a masterful, almost musical handler of volume and emphasis in words, knowing when to write a scene in a voice big and booming, and when to allow her approach to grow quieter.... The reader is left to contemplate loss and legacy, the novel's notions of “poetry and color and imagination” lingering like the notes of a distant song.
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
The late-in-the-novel revelation of how Katya's piano travels from Khrushchev's Russia to sunny California is ably and convincingly told.... Cander, who has written two other, well-received novels, has a gift for offering readers access to unique experiences.... She conveys her characters' emotions in equally lyrical ways.... Their journeys to enlightenment, as well as the Blüthner's transcontinental travels, make this a worthy novel despite the story's occasional sluggishness.
—Washington Post
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