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Irene

United States

2
HELPFUL VOTES
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  • 4 titles in library
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  • The Secret Piano: From Mao's Labor Camps to Bach's Goldberg Variations

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Zhu Xiao-Mei
    • Narrated By Nancy Wu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    Zhu Xiao-Mei was three years old when she saw her first piano. Soon after, the child began to play, developing quickly into a prodigy who immersed herself in the work of such classical masters as Bach and Brahms. Her astonishing proficiency earned her a spot at the Beijing Conservatory at the tender age of 11, where she began laying the foundation for a promising career as a concert pianist. But in 1966, with the onset of the Cultural Revolution, life as she knew it ended abruptly.

    Irene says: "Hard to Put This Book Down"
    "Hard to Put This Book Down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret Piano to be better than the print version?

    Yes, the narration was so life like. I was actually reading along as the narrative flowed with each word. It was like sitting with the author as she told her story. I could never have pronounced all the Chinese words and I didn't have to. Nancy Wu's wonderful and expressive narration brought the story to life for me.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Obviously the author, Zhu Xiao-Mei, was my favorite as the story was about her own life. She is a person I can relate to. I am a musician also.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene that grabbed me from the start was the first one told of three year old Zhu Xiao-Mei seeing a piano for the very first time. I recall my first time too. It's something you never forget.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    More than any other reaction to the book, I was reminded of my own childhood safely in a free America while others my own age suffered greatly on the other side of the world. I'd never really thought too much about what other people have overcome in their lives to achieve their dreams until I read this book.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're discouraged and thinking of quitting, read this book. It will inspire you to keep on trying and never give up.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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