The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander

The Weight of a Piano

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

Details The Weight of a Piano

TitleThe Weight of a Piano
Release DateJan 22nd, 2019
PublisherKnopf Publishing Group
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Music, Contemporary

Reviews The Weight of a Piano

  • Tammy
    Pianos are difficult to move. Ponderous and unwieldly, a piano cannot be moved by oneself. Help is required. This particular piano carries with it not only its heft but emotional attachments that are equally as heavy. Auto mechanic, Clara, drags the piano around from apartment to apartment and relationship to relationship until she meets a photographer with his own baggage associated with the instrument. And what of the music or its absence? Ther...
  • Cindy Burnett
    Chris Cander’s new book, The Weight of a Piano is simply stunning. Her story follows the life of a Bluthner piano as it travels from owner to owner. In addition to the piano, there are two women who play central roles in the tale. In 1962 when she is 8 years old, Katya is gifted the piano by a neighbor in her apartment building in Russia. She eventually emigrates from Russia to the United States losing her piano in the process. In 2012, Clara, ...
  • Marjorie
    In 1962, 8-year-old Russian Katya receives a piano, which is bequeathed to her by her elderly neighbor, who recognizes the music in Katya. The piano is a German Bluthner. Katya becomes a gifted pianist and she brings the best out of the piano. But her piano is lost to her when her husband decides to leave Russia with high hopes of starting a new life in America with Katya and their son. In 2012, Clara is torn about whether she should sell her Blu...
  • Claude Bouchard
    OMG, can this book be any more irritating? Every major character in this book is either depressed, behaves badly, or keeps making bad decisions. It's essentially the story of a young Russian girl named Katya to whom is bequeathed a beautiful and expensive Blüthner piano, which eventually falls into the hands of an American girl named Carla, and how their stories intersect. Katya's story in interesting, and I wanted to read more about her. Carla'...
  • Tory
    The start was GORGEOUS. The piano-maker roaming the Romanian forests to find a perfect tree; the craftsmen carefully creating each instrument by hand. But then: for as sweeping a story as it was, the language was seriously lacking, imho. I wanted perfectly-wrought, elegant sentences that made me sit up and take notice -- and I didn't get them. Somewhat predictable storyline and Greg got really creepy, really fast.
  • Shana
    I have a total "book hangover!" The story is poignant, but more importantly to me is how the people are so real! This author clearly understands human emotion on another level, and pulls the reader right into each character's world so completely that you truly forget they are words on a page and not flesh and blood!The research that must have gone into this novel in order to include the level of detail it does, is staggering.The PASSIONS are palp...
  • Janelle • She Reads with Cats
    Thank you so very much Knopf for my free copy of THE WEIGHT OF A PIANO -This is an emotional, poignant novel with elegant prose that will pull you in so much you won’t want to let go.In 1962, eight-year-old Katya Dmitrievna receives a piano from her neighbor who sees something special in her. It’s a beautiful Blüthner piano and Katya grows up to become a gifted pianist. Years later, she’s married with a son and her husband decides it’s t...
  • Jonathan
    I couldn’t decide whether to give this book a 3/ 3.5/ or a 4 and After debating I decided on a 4 because it genuinely was a good novel. It had some predictable moments however, the alternating stories of the past and present kept me interested not really lagging anywhere throughout. Of all the “twists” there was only really one that I didn’t see coming and I enjoyed that. This books synopsis is already written out so I will just say that ...
  • Vivek Tejuja
    The book caught my eye when I read some people comparing it to Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I think the similarity ends with music being the focal theme of both books. The Weight of a Piano is a very different book, that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is a book about how a piano made in Romania, intersects lives – one that of a woman in Russia with that of a woman in the United States of America.The Weight of a Piano is about relationships in the moder...
  • Jen Coombes
    This book was provided to me for free from Net Galley in exchange for a fair review.Chris Cander starts out this book with a mind blowingly good first chapter. The problem with introducing a book with such a beautifully written first chapter is that you lead the readers to believe that every chapter after that is going to be of that same tone and quality. Unfortunately the remainder of the book just did not take me there again.With that said, thi...
  • Penny (Literary Hoarders)
    Definitely more of a strong 3.5 star. It's very good and I did enjoy my time reading it - the two main female characters have excellent stories to tell, but it was Katya's that was strongest for me. It was the ending where it fizzled out a bit. I'll admit to being taken more by Cander's Whisper Hollow, but still thought this one a very good read. The title is a really great one and is excellently named for it is the piano that ties the two women ...
  • Stephanie Crowe
    The Weight Of a Piano by Chris CanderI knew that Cander was writing this book and it’s title always intrigued me. Now it’s finished and what a book it is!! The piano has always been a part of my life so it is appealing to me that the Bluthner piano is the main character of this story. It’s presence becomes significant to every person who owned it. Cander weaves a mesmerizing tale of the human connections beginning with Julius Bluthner who c...
  • Rachel | mrs.bennett.reads
    This was not an exactly perfect novel for me but I loved it enough, and it made enough of an emotional impact, that I will just go ahead and give it a bump to 5 stars. While it seems on the surface that this is a book about a piano (and it is), it is really a story about grief, letting go of the past, and our choice as humans to be happy or unhappy despite our circumstances. In all of the various characters throughout the past and present timelin...
  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    Two stories alternate in this book. One is the story of a woman in Russia who loves her piano and has to leave it behind when she goes to live in America. The other is the story of a woman in California who hesitates to get involved with others because she was orphaned at a young age. She, too, owns a piano, given to her by her father before his death, but it is a piano she has never learned to play.POSSIBLE SPOILERS:This book felt like it must h...
  • Deb Coco
    I had no idea what to expect of this book. I'd read one review, but I chose the audiobook after listening to a sample of the narrator, who is incredible. She is able to swing from the voice a 26 year old American, to a Russian child and then women, a German, all effortlessly while telling one of the most unique stories I've read in some time.The piano is a main character in this novel, and its journey is beautifully crafted. There are two main fe...
  • Fran Blake
    21/2stars liked the concept, but didn't think the characters were well-drawn.
  • Aditi
    Thanks to FTR and publishers for an ARC of the book.I thought this would be a 'weighty' book, pun intended. Having recently finished a russian cold war era book I had similar expectations of this one. But this is, at the heart of it, a love story and a woman called Clara trying to understand her past, to come to terms with her present. So read it as a romance and you wont be dissapointed.This book starts well, with descriptions of Piano making. I...
  • Oceantide74
    I give it an second star just for the first chapter alone which was beautifully written. And then the book goes down hill from there. I would’ve liked to read about the “old German’s” story. I didn’t like any of the characters and their character development or lack there of. Forget “The Weight of the Piano” this book’s title should’ve been “The Weight of the Book” with how dang depressing it was!
  • Maxine
    I read an advance copy of this novel and absolutely love it. Highly recommend!!
  • Joshua
    Fast paced and a joy to read! Interesting storyline with rich details and fascinating characters. Loved it!
  • Michelle Lancaster
    LITERARY FICTIONChris CanderThe Weight of a Piano: A NovelAlfred A. KnopfHardcover, 978-0-5256-5467-4 (also available as an e-book), 336 pgs., $26.95January 22, 2019Julius Blüthner, a German piano maker in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was a legend in his time. He would take the train from Leipzig to the mountains of Romania to personally choose the spruce trees which would become, after a process involving many steps and ma...
  • Esme
    I received The Weight of a Piano through NetGalley in exchange for a review. Thanks to Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group for allowing me a copy!Two women over nearly 50 years are united by their attachment to an extraordinary piano and a secret that causes a domino effect of tragedy. Katya is growing up in the Soviet Union during the 1960s when a neighbour gifts her with a Bluthner piano; Clara has just ended another hopeless relationship in 2012 ...
  • Susan Beamon
    This is the story of a piano, a Bluthner piano, made in Germany a long time ago. One of the owners took it with him to Russia. All we know of him is that he played the piano very well and he had no family with him. Everyone was afraid of him except for Katya. Because of that he taught her to play, and when he died, he left the piano to her.From then on, when Katya had the piano, she was happy. When she was without it, she was sad. To get it out o...
  • Beth
    newbie to this author, and i even did keep the note from the publisher saying i won it from a Goodreads giveaway, so i know for sure. love that. do u ever look at a cover and not really see what it is, i just enjoy the nature seen, didn't see the piano, right way??! cool!! I can play "Chopstick" and Jolly Old St. Nicholas. that is about it. I always wanted to, but couldn't sit long enough to learn. my Grandma Ruby had a piano. my Mom took lessons...
  • Mary Lins
    “The Weight of a Piano”, by Chris Cander, alternates points of view between Russian immigrant Katya, and twenty-six year old car mechanic, Clara. But the main protagonist is really a German-crafted Bluthner upright piano (it’s a real thing – Wikipedia). Initially I was drawn to the author because she is a fellow Houstonian (although the story is set in California and Death Valley), but I was also drawn in by the story. Clara’s decision ...
  • Caroline
    I loved this book so much. From the opening chapter which describes the mastery involved in the creation of a piano, I knew I was reading something special, and it didn't disappoint. Chris Cander uses such rich but spare language, I wanted to slow myself down to savor each word, while at the same time wanting to gallop ahead to see what happens. I loved her other books , WHISPER HOLLOW and 11 STORIES, and this one really makes her a must-read mus...
  • Penny Linsenmayer
    Cander's gorgeous prose, particularly in the opening and ending chapters, will draw readers in to her nuanced exploration of grief, love, betrayal, and the transformative power of art and music in our lives. Through alternate timelines, interwoven relationships, and a single beloved piano, readers are pulled into the Soviet Union of 1960s-80s, Los Angeles in the 80s-2000s, and present-day Death Valley National Park. Each of the main characters co...
  • Jeana
    4.5 starsWhat a beautiful book! It started off with two storylines seemingly in two very different places—a concert pianist in Russia and a 20-something girl mechanic in California. As the stories progress, they come closer and closer and you can see the similar thread in their stories, their shared love (almost dependence) on a particular piano. When the stories converge, it feels right—especially how it ends. A lovely book! (Btw, I played t...
  • Karen
    Loved the first chapter and the chapter toward the end of the book that was written from the piano's point of view. As a pianist, I loved how the piano and music played such an integral role in this novel. Enjoyed the piano music at the end of the book too! Overall a very interesting story, but I didn't think that Katya's character was developed enough.
  • Beth
    Beginning so very good. Wonderful writing. Great story. Some parts so good, really reached inside this piano player. And then some parts really lost me, like I was reading a sixth grader’s paper. One reviewer described some parts as sluggish. I don’t mind sluggish, that is not my complaint. Read it for the beginning and end.