Book: The Piano
Author: Jane Campion
I picked this one up on the recommendation of a bookseller at my favorite used bookstore, Bookman’s. When she found out that I was a musician she told me that I simply must read this book and then watch the movie. After reading the book, I don’t see any movie viewing in my future.
Since I don’t think this one is fit to be read, here is the basic idea. (Skip this paragraph if you plan to read it!) This book tells the story of a woman with a young daughter who is married off to a man she has never met. She is mute and communicates through sign language and using her notepad but her real method of communication is through her piano. When her new husband refuses to have it brought to the house, it creates a rift that cannot be mended. Then someone offers to take the piano off his hands in exchange for land and payment. Ada is devastated but eventually must go teach him because it is the only way for her to play. However no one expected how things would develop and Baines falls for Ada, eventually convincing her to cheat on her husband. Furious the husband locks her in the house to keep them apart and then when that doesn’t work, tries to end her piano playing forever. He realizes he has gone too far and lets his wife leave him.
While the power of music was portrayed well, the book centers more on the adult themes, not the music. There were many places I skimmed or completely skipped. I have no doubt the movie is far worse. This just wasn’t a book for me and one to stay away from if you are a more conservative reader.