It is a wonderfully told story about four generations of a family centered about Lily (the Piano man's daughter) told by her son who tries to piece together her life, discover who his father was, and describes how he and others interacted with her mental illness.
"In the summer of 1910, on a still June morning, he took me up to the river in the town. Not a sound. No people. Only the splash of a frog or a turtle sliding from the bank. And the reeds all silent on the shore beneath the shade of the willow trees. And yet, when I listened down, I heard a whispering chorus of insects making a seething noise. We drifted there almost an hour and neither of us spoke. In the town, he went away and I never saw him again. And yet...
The sun on the hill forgot to die
And the lilies revived, and the dragonfly
Came back to dream on the river.
If only . . ."