Letters to the Pianist


During World War II, Ruth, Hannah and Gabi’s lives are torn apart when a bomb destroys their home, and their parents are thought to have been killed in the blast. Their father Joe survives,  but with no recollection of his past, he takes on a new name and embraces a new life.  After four years and much heartache, Ruth runs across a picture of a talented pianist who resembles her father.  Determined to discover the truth, she embarks on a journey that will take her into a world she never imagined.  As the pianist’s memories begin to surface, his past puts not only himself in danger but also those closest to him as well.  Filled with political scandal and the power of family, “Letters to the Pianist” will have one guessing what side will win.

A strong beginning with compelling characters and detailed world building draws the reader quickly in to the story.  Ms. Mayes weaves heartache, suspense, and intrigue into her writing in such a way that even during the most despicable moments, one must keep reading.  Unfortunately, the focus of the novel begins to fall apart halfway through when the plot goes in too many directions.  The sections involving Ruth, Hannah and Gabi are heartwarming and drive the story, however Eddie’s sections seem to lose direction and become muddled, leaving the reader wondering how it all will fit together.  Although the second half of the book takes the reader in a completely different direction, the mystery will keep the reader intrigued until the end.  

Amy Cefoldo