This is my 2nd Uvi Poznansky book and like The Music of Us, it was awesome!. The author's writing style is genuine, thoughtful, provocative and in deep emotional pain. I see a real life person thinking, feeling, agonizing the way Ben, a fictional character, does.
Both of Uvi's books, The White Piano and The Music of Us, strike a cord of reality as my mother actually did succumb from Alzheimer's. Like Ben, I would have been over-the-top livid and unforgiving if what his father did fictionally was done to me. Fortunately I did not live such betrayal in real life.
As I stated in my review of “My Own Voice (Still Life with Memories Book 1),” Uvi Poznansky is a favorite author. It’s because she writes beautiful books. She moves us as we feel the shame, the guilt, the desperate needs of the characters with whom we are immersed. This story is one of passion, at times muted, and often confused but always there simmering between the lines. “The White Piano (Still Life with Memories Book 2),” by Uvi Poznansky, continues and Anita is caught on tape. So much is caught . . . Highest recommendation. Five stars.
I am not going to rehash the story. Tell you guys what other reviewers have said already. What I am going to tell you is that this book reminds of poetry in motion. Of music set to a tune the characters is humming in your ears. Of a tapestry seen through tinted glass. As you read the story unfolds much like when you peel an onion. You might cry but you will also get to the part where the story turns sweetly bitter, deliciously aromatic - you will get to a point where you go - that is me! This story is amazing. Don't take my word for it. Get your copy today and see for yourself. And let yourself hum along.
Pure artistry! This book blew me away. It is so powerful and emotional and extremely well-written. The author bio states that she paints with words, and that is a perfect description.
To be honest, I wasn’t crazy about Anita’s dialog, but I suppose it’s just the bad grammar that drives me nuts. However, that’s who she is, and it fits, but it makes me like her even less. With that said, the author draws the reader in to each character, and you can really understand where Ben and his father are coming from and why they each feel what they feel. Even their mistakes and at times, peculiar behavior, entice you to read on and find out what happens next. And what happens next is never what you expect.
In short, the book deals with very deep issues and is incredibly moving. Wow- just… wow!
This book goes hand in hand with the author's "My own Voice" and the two work very well as a set. The core of the story is Lenny's marriage to his second wife, Anita, a much younger version of his ex-wife Natasha, who has early onset Alzheimers. While one book follows the narrative of Anita, we now hear the story from Ben's side, who is Lenny's estranged son. His observations cast a new light on the situation. His perspective, aided by letters from his mother, bring new revelations and peel further layers of the family. The author also uses tape recordings in the book, making this a very accomplished piece of story telling. While I don't often like 'clever' or constructed plot devices, here it works extremely well. The author has a unique sharp and poignant writing style and with the change of perspectives she gives the characters further depth. Great writing, a fascinating premise and wonderful insight in human nature make this a read very worth your time.
Uvi Poznansky wears a coat of many colors. Originally from Israel where she studied Architecture and Town Planning then moving to the US where she studied Computer Science and became an expert in Software Engineering, Poznansky managed to combine the design elements of two studies into unique formats. And she has accomplished the same with the other side of her brain - making visual her ideas (she is an accomplished painter, drawer, and sculptor who has enjoyed exhibitions both in Israel and in California, her present base) and making words in poetry and in short stories and children's books. MY OWN VOICE was her first part of her novel APART FROM LOVE: Still Life with Memories and THE WHITE PIANO is the second part. Having read them together allows sharing the scope of what came before this book – and sharing that is important.
Uvi’s skill at both visual and written art is outstanding, but her history of diversity does not end there. The story of this elegantly designed novel is a dissection of a family life and the alterations that occur with the family framework both by intent and by happenstance. It weaves themes of disparate parents - an accomplished pianist Natasha married to the elderly Lenny who cares for Natasha as she descends into the darkness of Alzheimer's Disease and compensates by taking on a very young and uneducated, somewhat socially coarse redhead vixen named Anita - and the manner in which the couple's 27-year-old bright son Ben copes with the situation.
Poznansky's unique way of unraveling this complex story is by making the `chapters' vary as told by Ben, as told by Anita, and as told by Lenny. She understands fully how to bring Ben's confusion about both his past life with his parents and the current situation with his mother's decline and his father's reactive compensation by bonding with a beautiful young, if raw, companion. Few authors would be able to pull off the manner in which the apparent polar opposites of Ben and Anita begin to bond and how Lenny integrates into their apparent clandestine relationship, but Poznansky has the visual and verbal and architectural skills to create this maze and guide us through it.
She capitalizes on the use of the chapters being related in the voices of the characters: Ben relates the situation as he remembers and experiences it in eloquent finely honed grammar while Anita speaks to us with the slang that at first can be grating but morphs into communication that allows the reader to experience the change that develops in her relationship to Ben. In other's hands this could become cloying as a technique, but with Poznansky's skill she uses it as an interface between evolving personalities that makes her story ring true.
So much more could be said about the manner in which the author brings understanding to the hierarchies of relationships - parental, couple, aging, developing, and ones influenced by disease, but that would be robbing the reader of the joy of discoveries that Poznanasky accomplishes in this profound novel. The title is so well chosen: the phrase of the title is the key that unlocks much of the fragile mystery that hovers here. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, September 15
I have always loved Uvi Poznansky’s work and ‘The White Piano’ begins on a perfect note-“About a year ago I sifted through the contents of my suitcase, and was just about to discard a letter….” The reader is intrigued and sets on a beautiful impressionable journey filled with delightful stories. The beauty of this work lies in the fact that it can be read as a standalone novel or as a series of events that can be deciphered separately. Personally I really liked ‘She is looking out the window’. This particular piece has the intensity of a silent stream, as characters talk about trivial matters on the surface, but there is a storm brewing inside their hearts. It is very evident from the simple conversation that is tinged with so much that remains unsaid. ‘I think I can see that eye. It looks in, unblinking. It can read the signs of our silence. I want to speak— but find myself unable’. The unsaid is so powerful that it is like flicking light-switches with wet fingertips. As I delved deep into the pages, I got a vivid glimpse of people and characters that are not only human but also immensely lovable. They suffer from all the weaknesses that shroud most peoples’ lives and their joys and sorrows are something every reader can relate to. This novel is a unique mix of ordinary and the extraordinary. ‘The White Piano’ by Uvi Poznansky has the power to unravel situations that are complex as she brilliantly peeps into the minds of her characters in an attempt to disentangle all complexities. ‘There it is, that sound again. And again— just like last night— it is only a whisper...’ This book may be a gentle whisper, but it is enough to satisfy a hungry reader who loves to delve deep into the emotional psyche of people and live every moment of this gift.
'The White Piano' is a deep, emotionally charged story of how a family deals with life's tragic challenges. How the characters deal with their circumstances will definitely invoke strong feelings of love, pain, regrets and sorrow. This is a story that we can all relate to, for we know life isn't always 'fair' or 'prosperous'. The feelings and emotions experienced in this story will definitely stay with you long after you put the book down.