Cover Image: The War Pianist

The War Pianist

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Member Reviews

I have read 3 books by this author and loved each one! I could not put this book down! Amazing characters and great story line! Highly recommend
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Just not the book for me. I can tell that I am in the minority with my rating. But I just couldn't get into this book. The pace felt way too slow. And I didn't really feel like the double narrative worked. It seemed obvious to me that Robotham was more invested in Marnie's story, so I never really felt like I got close enough to Corrie.
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Once you finally work out the connection of the book title and the storyline everything then begins to make sense and coincidentally the storyline really starts to grip you.  This book has really good characters you so feel for and a storyline that really grips you right until the end..  Highly recommended.
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Marnie Fern works at the BBC in wartime London. When her beloved grandfather is killed during a bombing raid, she discovers he was a radio transmitter, known as a pianist, assisting the Dutch resistance.  She is approached and accepts an offer to take his place, transmitting secret messages to Corrie Bakker, her contact in Amsterdam.   She is thrust into a world of intrigue where at any moment lives could be endangered and traitors could be afoot. Who can she really trust?

I have read and enjoyed quite a few of Robotham’s historical fiction works. 
While this might not have been my favorite, she is a great story teller.  Her books are well researched, tension filled, and engrossing, usually featuring a strong female character.  While there is a lot of inhumanity, horror, and sadness in this book, it concludes with a feeling of hope.  As a reader, I always want to know “what happened next?”.  Her ending answered that question for me.
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This is, I think, Mandy's strongest book to date.  It really demonstrates how her passions and knowledge and creativity can come together and really put a beautiful book, a story, out into the world.

This is my favourite of her books.  I loved Marnie, our FMC, and Willem.  I also loved Corrie and the relationship among the three of them.  The strength and resolve of these characters is so inspiring and captivating.  I loved the interplay of the BBC, the blitz and the time in Holland, it just really made it a perfectly composed novel for lovers of historical fiction, spies, and that hint of romance that's never too far ;)

I also loved the way that Mandy describes the 'art' of piano playing and how she makes it a true calling as opposed to a simple machination.

Every bit of this novel comes alive.  Bravo!
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy. 

This book is a heartbreaking story of WWII resistance in Amsterdam, of the strength and bravery of all those men and women who resisted the Nazi's when they occupied Amsterdam. 

Willem, who is a resistance member, asks Marnie, who works working at the BBC in London, to become a pianist(known as a radio controller). She thinks of her grandfather, how he was killed during the Blitz by a bomb. Then she makes a decision to do all she can to help in stopping the Nazi's.

As a pianist she corresponds with another pianist, Corrie, in Amsterdam as they can’t get any news, as they too have Nazi occupation. Both Corrie and Willem disappear and Marnie, with another member of the resistance goes to Amsterdam in search of them.

This story has everything in it, love, danger, fights,betrayal and imprisonment by the Nazi's. 

I would recommend it.
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Mandy Robotham's THE WAR PIANIST is a gripping and heartbreaking WWII novel set in London and Amsterdam.

Marnie, who lives in London, lives a rather drab life until the death of her grandfather where she takes on his very important work as a radio (or pianist) operator for the Dutch resistance. She connects with another radio operator in Amsterdam and together they help to stop the Nazi's.

Robotham's novels are always haunting and you can feel the tension and fear dripping from the pages. 

I loved the multiple points of view, the well-written pages, the fast pace and the tension that kept me engrossed until the very end.

If you love historical fiction, then this is a must read.
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Marnie Fern is employed by the British Broadcasting House, her grandfather Gilbert Coop is a tailor and she visits him after work. So far in England there hasnt been any air raids, but when they begin the Luftwaffe drop bombs every night and it's catastrophic. Marnie is devastated when her beloved grandfather is killed in one of these raids, when she returns to his shop, Marnie discovers a radio set and he’s being working as an undercover radio operative and helping the Dutch resistance.

Corrie Bakker is a mother, she lives in Amsterdam and owns a bookshop and at night she works as a radio operative. When she doesn’t hear from Gatsby she’s worried, she has no idea he’s been killed and his granddaughter is keen to follow his footsteps. Two women living in different war torn cities, both want to help their countries and at considerable risk to their own safety. 

Marnie’s grandfather taught her Morse code, after a week’s training somewhere in Oxfordshire, she easily passes, and Marnie continues to work for the BBC during the day and Lizzy sends messages to Daisy in Amsterdam at night. War tore up the rule book for many women, for Connie and Marnie it was a meeting of like minds over the airwaves. Both are excellent "pianists" the nick name given to radio operators, but both face challenges daily and the danger of being betrayed. 

Marnie meets Willem Bakker, he escaped Amsterdam with his friend Gus and she has no idea he’s Connie son. In Amsterdam, Connie is trying to keep her daughter Kees safe and her aging Uncle Hendrik, from the Gestapo, SS and the Abwehr and most of all the evil German officer Lothar Selig. People are in hiding all over Amsterdam, in a series of safe houses and even at the Artis zoo. 

I received a copy of The War Pianist from NetGalley and Avon Books UK in exchange for an honest review. Mandy Robotham has done it again, a thoroughly researched and interesting narrative set during the Second World War. I had never heard of the term “pianist” for a radio operator before, their fingers did have to move quickly and they only had a short time to send a coded message. Both of the main characters are focused, realistic, saw things as they were, women who wanted to change the course of the war and did. I highly recommend reading this book if you enjoy WW II historical fiction and Ms. Robothams previous books, The Berlin Girl and The Resistance Girl, and another five star read for me.
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This is an emotional and heartbreaking historical fiction set during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam and Blitz ridden London. 

Mandy Robotham writes gripping and emotional historical fiction, mostly based in WWII and Nazi occupation in Europe and I always enjoyed reading her books. I got as an invitation to read and review this book and thank you Avon for inviting me to review this book. In fact the War Pianist in my opinion is one of her masterpieces, talking about lives of two brave women during the WWII--Corrie, a pianist in Amsterdam and Marnie, in London, and how their lives interchanged while broadcasting through the radio. 

This book was raw, powerfully written, telling in the POV of Corrie and Marnie. Having done WWII history and a piano teacher myself, this book was in fact engaging and emotional in my opinion. The author did a good job of drawing the reader into that era and then making the reader feel like they are also a part of the resistance movement. There are vivid descriptions all too realistic to read, the rubble left behind the bomb that you could vividly actually picture the scene right in your head. The author managed to inflict fear and anxiety on the reader when the characters were nearly caught by the Nazis. Overall, this is powerfully written, emotional, heartbreaking and overall, gripping. Worth five stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Avon for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.
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Firstly I must say that Mandy Robotham is one of my favourite modern day writers. The historical research and settings for her books is thorough and fascinating. If you haven't read her other books, then you really should. They are all so different and I really look forward to picking up a new one. 
I won't try to re-write the blurb about this book only to say that it is another set in WW2 with a focus this time on the Netherlands . A war pianist is a radio operator; in this book a British woman and a Dutch Mother. Their story and the people who link them together is the crux of the tale.
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Beautifully written and woven together with multiple points of view. Reading about the Dutch resistance was intriguing and gave a unique perspective of WW2. Great characters and well paced story simmering with tension as the plot unfolds. Well recommended.
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This is another well researched compelling WWII read from Mandy Robotham. 
Set in London during the blitz and Nazi occupied Amsterdam, it is the story of Marnie and her Dutch counterpart Corrie who become radio operators, aka pianists, to help the resistance.
It is the story of bravery, love, loss, friendships and family and it will appeal to readers of historical fiction, especially WWII.
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I’ve read a few of this author’s books- all are set in World War 2 and are well researched with believable characters.
I thought The War Pianist would have some musical connection but it was actually about a radio operator in the 2nd World War. Apparently they were known as pianists.
Marnie Fern works as a production assistant for the BBC. Despite the war and the dangers of the blitz which are beautifully described, Marnie goes about her life and enjoys her job. Her only regret is that she is becoming an”old maid” with no man on the horizon .
When tragedy strikes one evening and she meets Willem, her life  changes forever as she is recruited to a secret world embarking  on a dangerous journey which takes her through war torn Europe to Holland.
This was an enjoyable and compelling read which kept me on the edge of my seat. Marnie was thrust into many difficult situations but managed to find an inner resolve as well utilise some of her life skills such as sewing and first aid when helping the Dutch resistance.
I particularly liked the ending as it cleared up many points. and explained what happened to some of the characters I had got to know so well.
Definitely a recommendation for readers who enjoy World War 2 novels- this has settings of both the London blitz and occupied Amsterdam which definitely held my interest. The information about Amsterdam zoo was particularly fascinating.
Thanks to NetGalley and Avon books for my advance copy.
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This is an intense WWII read. 
I learned that radio operators during the war were referred to as pianists for their quick fingers messaging in Morse Code.  
Always in danger, on the move, and straining to listen closely for any indication that the Germans had caught up with them, these men and women played a very important part in helping the resistance.  
In this story, a radio operator in Holland is desperate to connect with her contact in London, during the Blitz.  
Read on for heart stopping moments as the Dutch resistance fights for their country and lives.
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The War Pianist needs more stars. A lot more stars.  I am obsessed with historical fiction stories  because they helps me learn about the past.   The fiction aspect adds to the history making for enjoyable read instead of the usual textbook struggles.  The author weaves an amazing  tale bringing the two aspects together into a story that touched my heart.  The War Pianist has left a lasting impression that I hope never to forget.

The fiction side of The War Pianist sucked me into the story.  I became addicted to the characters, the drama, and the unexpected twists.  The War Pianist became my companion until I reached the end.  The author wrote a story filled with the scary aspects of World War 2.  Her descriptions took me back to the a war I had only heard about. I felt their struggles.  I could imagine the smells that surrounded Marnie in the shelters and in the streets.  The author's words brought it all to life.  

The War Pianist is a story of the need to survive and save the people of Holland.  Willem has escaped and is now in London working to create the resistance in Holland.  Marnie becomes  Willem's War Pianist, his connection to Corrie on the other end of the transmitter. 

The dramatic aspect took me deeper.  Spies are everywhere.  How does one learn to trust?  They must rely on strangers to keep them safe, to help the transmit in safety.  Danger is around every corner as they dodge bombs and flying debris.  

When circumstances take them to Holland; risks grow exponentially.  Marnie has travelled from a free country, Britain, to an occupied Holland.  With the help of the resistance she travels through dangerous territories risking everything to help Willem save Corrie.  The glimpses into the horrors and the dangers of those surrounding Marnie were terrifying. I learned so much as Marnie discovered the realities of war in Holland.  

The author had me researching so many things as she tied the historical facts with the dramatic fiction.  She made me realize that I have so much more to learn, so much more to discover.  I, no, we owe it to those that suffered the atrocities of World War 2 to keep learning, to keep talking. 

I am grateful to have been able to read such an enlightening story.  I can't wait to read more books by Mandy Robotham.
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Well done historical fiction about the intersection of two women- Marnie a BBC worker who finds herself working with the Free Dutch movement after her grandfather dies in the Blitz, and Corrie, who risks it all in the Netherlands as a radio operator. Based in fact but with good addition to add emotion and character, it's a good read.  Thanks to netgalley for the ARC,  For fans of WWII stories.
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I was looking forward to reading this because I LOVED "The Resistance Girl, " unfortunately I had a really hard time getting into the story. The book was OK and I would rate it 2.5 stars. It was slow paced and not much really happened. Most of the story didn't seem believable. There's not much action, unless you count Marnie dodging the craters at night in the streets of London. Marnie definitely didn't always make the best of decisions. She walks right up to an undetonated bomb. I'm actually surprised she survived. I didn't really love any of the characters. The most fascinating part of the book, was the Artis Zoo. It's unbelievable how many lives the zoo was able to save, just by hiding them among the animals.

Recommend giving the book a try, I'm in the minority with my rating. The book just wasn't for me.
I loved the author's previous books and look forward to reading more.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Avon Books UK through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I have a read a lot of war books over the last few months but this one just didn't work for me. I tried several times to get into it. Others will love it but it just wasn't the book for me.
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A mid aged spinster is working as a production assistant for the BBC who is set on her routine with few friends other than her grandfather to whom she is findly attached, War is declared  and finally London is being blitzed under which she has to suffer every day until one day the worse happens and grandfather is killed in his shop. She decides to visit the bombed shop to recover anything of sentimental value. In doing so she finds a radio transmitter set hidden in the cellar. This becomes a turning point in her life. Grandfather was working for the Free Dutch government in London as their radio link to the  Netherlands and have told them to get his granddaughter take over should anything happen to him. There by starts a journey where she has two jobs, her normal one and a secret one that in time gets her dropped into the Netherlands  as a radio operator to maintain contact with London, and helping to save people hunted by the Gestapo. Under stress, how  she transforms from a staid office worker into a spy, sending messages under fear of discovery and assuming disguises to walk under the noses of German soldiers is an exciting and engrossing story,
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Thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for the review copy!

“The War Pianist” by Mandy Robotham is a great historical fiction. I absolutely love Mandy Robothams books, so I had to read this one as well. And I am happy I did. This is yet another lovely book of this incredible author. 

The story is set in July 1940. Marnie Fern’s grandfather dies in an air raid. She suddenly finds out that he has been working as a radio operative (called a Pianist). 
Corrie Bakker is also a Pianist, and she ends up in a very dangerous situation. She fights to protect her family, but also herself. 

This is a book about two incredible women. They fight for their own lives, but also for a lot of other people's lives. They fight for justice!

The story seems trustworthy. Mandy Robotham captures the historical elements very well. 

The characters are written with so much depth and so many emotions that you can not help but feel sympathy with them. 

Mandy Robotham is an incredible author. “The War Pianist” is yet another example of that! A beautiful, strong and lovely story!
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