A tandem narrative literary nonfiction
story of survival and love
John Lipscomb and Adrianne Lugo
The Painting and The Piano is an improbable story of survival and love.
The childhoods of Johnny and Adrianne couldn’t have been more different. Not only were they born more than one-thousand miles apart, but the cultural and financial contrasts between their respective childhoods are equally as stark.
Old-money wealth and privilege defined Johnny’s childhood in Ladue, Missouri, which is to St. Louis what Scarsdale is to New York City or Beverly Hills to Los Angeles. From the moment of his birth, Johnny’s world was private clubs, private schools, private jets, high-society etiquette, and a loving nanny named Lizzy.
Middleclass Jewish values, bickering but loving parents, and the distinct character of Long Island defined Adrianne’s early life. It was public school, public transportation, Jones Beach, and Lawn Guyland rather than Long Island or tawk instead of talk.
However, Johnny and Adrianne’s childhoods share a tragic parallel that damaged each to the core of their psyche, their emotional well-being, and brought both to the brink of death.
Where their story diverges from so many others is that rather than fall into the darkness, Johnny and Adrianne reached for the light. Thus began their respective journeys of healing, which led from the slow death of addiction to a serendipitous meeting, falling in love and building a shared life dedicated to the service of others.
Told as a tandem narrative, Adrianne and Johnny pass their respective stories of childhood trauma and abuse, addiction, healing, and final triumph of love back and forth in alternating chapters. Their stories are unique, but share parallels that create a taut and emotionally compelling narrative.