Tuesday Book Feature: Love Letters in the Grand

Note: Since Thanksgiving falls on the day I normally review books here, I’m changing things around a bit. I’ll have a special treat for you on Thanksgiving Day, so stay tuned.


Love Letters in the Grand: The Adventures and Misadventures of a Big City Piano Tuner

By John Justice

Copyright 2017

In this collection of stories, the author, totally blind, relates his experiences tuning pianos in New York City and Philadelphia during the 1960’s and 70’s. Some tales are humorous like “It Won’t Play If You Don’t Pay,” in which he describes his underhanded way of dealing with a customer who refused to pay for his services. Others showcase how unfairly he was treated by some customers, e.g. “Unintended Disaster,” in which he was blamed for breaking a music lamp on a piano top after being told it was clear.

Some stories don’t have much to do with piano tuning like “Star’s Rippingly Good Solution,” in which he explains how his guide dog handled a mugger on a New York City subway. In the title story, he relates how he found a packet of love letters inside a grand piano. At the end, he explains how he met his second wife at a rehabilitation facility for the blind in Little Rock, Arkansas, and eventually married her and found other employment while still tuning pianos on the side.

Since I play the piano, I was fascinated by his explanation of the inner workings of the instrument, as he related his various experiences. I liked his descriptions of Madison Square Garden and the Lincoln Center where he was sent to tune pianos. As a registered music therapist, my favorite piece was “Song for Adrienne,” in which his playing of a familiar Christmas carol touched the heart of a young woman in a psychiatric hospital. I loved his quote at the end. “Life is like a piano. It has highs and lows, but when all is said and done, it is an instrument on which we all must play our tunes.”


Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at: https://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com

4 thoughts on “Tuesday Book Feature: Love Letters in the Grand”

  1. Abbie–Many thanks for this book review because I already purchased some of John Justice’s books for Christmas gift-giving. I am sure that the recipients (one of whom had grand pianos and the other plays piano in a band, will enjoy LOVE LETTERS IN THE GRAND.  I also have ready to gift-wrap copies of John’s Christmas book which he published last year.  Both are such grand gift books for this holiday season!

    Looking forward to your Thanksgiving Day post!  Alice and Willow


What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Live, Love, Laugh & Don't Forget to Breathe!

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Rosie Amber

Book reviewer and garden enthusiast. Updates from my Hampshire garden. Usually talking about books and plants. People do not forget books or flowers that touch them or excite them—they recommend them.


I’m just a girl, standing in front of a bread shop, asking for it to open.

Writing to be Read

Author's Blog - Book Reviews, Author Profiles and Reflections on Writing

Living in God's Pocket with ABI

Nurturing Compassion and Stewardship

The Thoughts and Ramblings of Steve

Musings, observations, and experiences as I make my way in the world.

Pictures From The Kitchen Window

Barbara Spencer Writes...


Bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled


journeys of the mind and body

Empish J. Thomas

Freelance Writer, Disability Blogger & Consultant

Clennell Anthony

Sexy, Fun, & Mysterious...


reflections on a passing life

luna's on line

Writing and Stuff by Chris Hall - Storyteller and Accidental Blogger

Mark Bierman

Adventures in Writing


The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

%d bloggers like this: