It's a set of essays, an extended reflection, really, on the piano lesson and the power of music. The author is a pianist and piano teacher, and she uses vignettes from the lessons she gives (to children, mostly) to muse on the way music moves us and on learning in general and relationships between teacher and student.
As a teacher, I loved the way she describes her relationship with her students (I'd LOVE to have her for a teacher, or the teacher of my child). At one point she says, "But Chloe has helped teach me one of the great lessons every teacher learns: I can control, influence, and persuade my students--except when I can't."
As a music lover, I enjoyed her discussions of "what makes music beautiful," and her musings on pop versus classical music.
As I writer, I loved her style and the way she took something ordinary--teaching someone something new--and used it to reflect on larger issues.
I'd recommend it.
And while I'm at it, I'll recommend another book.
I also just finished reading Diane Ackerman's The Zookeeper's Wife. It's about a polish couple who runs a zoo, and is caught in WWII. They use the zoo to smuggle Jews out of the ghetto and to safety.
I had to read it slowly; the harrowing tales of WWII Poland were so heart-rending. But it's an uplifting book, all in all. Of course Ackerman's prose is lush and vivid, and she brings to life Antonia, the Zookeeper's wife, and all the people she encounters.
What are you reading?