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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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'...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
    🎹 “I want to say that there’s a reason this piano exists in the world. This specific piano. That there’s something important about it, to the people who made it, to the people who played it and lost it and found it and lost it again, thinking it was gone forever. This Blüthner made music out of nothing, it thawed frozen imaginations, and then it burned down and showed up again with its old scratches and a new owner. This piano has been ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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.
  • Michelle
    This is a beautifully written story which explores many aspects of relationships. I thought it was very clever to use a piano to signify the different “weights” we all carry around.
  • Bonnye Reed
    GNab Chris Cander brings us a multifaceted work of art in Weight of a Piano. We follow the lives affected by both their love of music and the ownership of this upright 500 plus pound Bluthner piano. The soundboard is built of timber harvested in Romanian forests in the late 19th century, cured properly over many years to provide the perfect depth and purity of tone, and installed into this quality upright piano manufactured in Germany in the firs...
  • 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...
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    via my blog:“Now, stop with the crying before your misery becomes contagious.”The Weight of a Piano is a heavy one in this latest novel by Chris Cander. The story begins with Julies Blüthner (maker and founder of Blüthner piano and factory in Leipzig Germany) walking through the forest high in the Romanian mountains searching for the perfect tree for his creations. One such piano will be given to Ekate...
  • Sandra
    This book is described as: “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.” Chris Cander is a new author for me. “The Weight of a Piano” is one of the best books I have ever read. I found the story fascinating, compelling, heart breaking at times, and a real page-turner. My emotions were all over the place as this story took a Russian fa...
  • Tati Dengo
    I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.The Weight of a Piano is carefully tuned literary fiction. It finds the perfect moment to tug at all the right emotions, leaving you in a reverent, contemplative silence by the end. Each chapter switches back and forth between the POVs of Carla, the current owner of the piano, and Katya, the former owner. Carla is a young mechanic who lost her parents in a tragic fire; the pian...
  • Emma
    I received an advanced copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Wow. This story was much more complex than I thought it was going to be.The Weight of a Piano tells two stories; one of Katya in the Soviet Union in 1962 and the other of Clara in 2012. Although their stories take place during different times, Katya and Clara are connected through a collection of complicated relationships, each revolving around music and a piano.This s...
  • Nancy
    Letting Go of the Past and Finding LoveClara has lost another boyfriend because she can’t commit to a long term relationship. She has to move again and that means carting her Bluthner piano to yet another apartment. This time on the second floor. In the move, she hurts her hand and finally decides she’s had enough of a piano she doesn’t play. Time to sell it. Katya a young girl in the Soviet Union is entranced by hearing a neighbor play the...
  • 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...
  • Anne
    Dear readers, should you choose to step into the pages of this book and experience the stories of these characters and the journey of the beautiful 1905 ebonized Blüthner piano, you should be assured you are in the hands of a virtuoso. I can’t recall the last time I read a story that was so beautifully rendered that I felt as though I experienced every emotion from the highest C to the lowest A on the keyboard. And then there was the silence w...
  • Kathleen Gray
    Clara and Katya are linked across time and space by a Bluthner piano. If you've ever wondered about how a piano is made, Cander details this fascinating process, this making the piano as much of a character as the two women. Two women who could not be more different. Or are they? The former Soviet Union and Bakersfield, California are also vastly different but that piano- it endures. It's also a tough nut to move, which is key to the novel. I lik...
  • Sharondblk
    This was a great read. It's not subtle, the book is called The Weight of Piano, and it about the physical and psychological weight of a piano as a metaphor. Despite this it is not heavy handed,perhaps because it is so well written, with characters that are likeable, flawed and interesting. I notice when I'm reading books that are clumsily written I highlight passages. there was none of that here - the dialogue is smooth flowing, the descriptions ...
  • Susan
    It took some time for me to warm up to this novel about two women and the piano that connects their histories. I think that dual timelines are beginning to be overdone in contemporary novels, but, in this case, I didn't feel that interrupted the story too much. The main character, Clara, showed a lot of growth over the course of the story, and she developed a lot of insight about herself. I loved the ending and the choice Clara made. The descript...
  • Gena - My Book Reviews for You
    This was a beautiful novel! I enjoyed the way the characters’ real emotions were depicted, not just glossed over. This is another novel that exceeded my expectations of it! The story is about the piano that Katya received when she was a young girl in the Soviet Union. Katya is forced to leave behind her beloved piano when she comes to America with her husband. Many years later, Clara becomes the owner of this same piano. Katya and Clara and the...
  • Kate Williams
    I didn’t know how to explain the complex relationship I have with my own childhood piano. The reasons behind my not wanting to keep it/wanting to hold onto it forever/wanting to pass it onto my children simultaneously were opaque even to me. Until I read Cander’s The Weight of a Piano. Sparkling prose, characters teeming with flawed but beautiful humanness, and TWO narrative arcs that leave you breathless in all the right ways, all meant I ne...