It is 1880s London, and piano tuner Edgar Drake has been asked to
meet with two senior army officials. A highly decorated although
somewhat eccentric officer has requested that a specialist piano
tuner be sent to the eastern reaches of Upper Burma to repair a
rare Erard grand piano. Initially taken aback by this strange
request, Edgar discusses it with his wife Katherine and comes to
the conclusion that it is the very least that he can do for his
country. The journey from London takes more than two months and
Edgar finds it utterly captivating. He is looking forward to
meeting the enigmatic Surgeon-Major Anthony Carroll, the owner of
the piano, but in Mandalay, where he arrives before embarking on
the final leg of his journey to Mae Lwin, he receives devastating
news. Renewed fighting in the mountains has left many dead. Edgar
is informed that the army considers the risk too high for a
civilian and he is to be sent home to London as soon as it can be
arranged. Bitterly disappointed, he prepares for his journey home.
That night, however, a special emissary of Carroll's arrives to
take him to Mae Lwin, and even though Edgar knows that it will be
without the blessing or protection of the British forces, months of
curiosity and wonder push him into action. Despite a sense of
foreboding, Edgar takes his first furtive steps into the unknown
and in doing so changes his life forever. This is an exquisite
novel. Powerfully written, it will captivate your heart and mind
with its beautiful language and evocative characterization, and the
story of Edgar's gradual transformation is unforgettably moving.
In 1886 London, married piano tuner Edgar Drake is requested by the
War Office to travel to the jungles of Burma to tune a rare Erard
grand piano which belongs to a Surgeon-Major who is credited with
making peace in the war-torn Shan States. So begins a tale of myth,
romance and self-discovery.
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