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Love Atop a Keyboard

Divorced and fifty-five, Janet Silver Ghent stood in tears at Jerusalem’s Western Wall in the winter of 1998 and pressed a paper between the cracks. “Please, God, find me a match,” she wrote. She should have marked it rush. As 1999 dawned, she took matters into her own hands and penned a quirky personals ad— “Cute writer seeks leading man for long-playing drama”—luring Allen, a singing Silicon Valley engineer, to a tryst in a San Francisco toy store. They tapped out tunes with their toes on a giant mat piano. He wooed her with song, and she harmonized.


Under their marriage canopy in 2000, he promised her “a merry chase,” and they camped among snorting wildebeests during Tanzania’s Grand Migration. They shared a white-knuckled tuk-tuk trip through Bangkok. They climbed the peaks of Machu Picchu, and wherever they traveled, they sang.

At their wedding, Janet had vowed never to take Allen “for granite.” But when his lab tests uncovered two brutal conditions, she became the rock. Instead of Angkor Wat, they visited Stanford hospital. As Allen’s health stabilized and the pandemic eased, they set off for South America, but their bucket lists sprang a leak. In Love Atop a Keyboard, when things go awry—abroad or at home—there’s always a story, a song, or a book.

Press and Praise

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When Fig Tree Lit published the first chapter of Love Atop a Keyboard in the June 2023 literary journal, unsolicited compliments filled Janet’s Facebook page, LinkedIn, and email. Here are a few:

Dear friend—what a way to start! Knocked my socks off. If what follows is as self-aware and honest, we are all in for a treat."

—Ronald Ein, Seattle

“It’s compelling. I haven’t been that gripped by a first chapter since, lemme see, I read something by Dickens. All kidding aside, it’s terrific.”

—Woody Weingarten, San Anselmo, CA

"This is so well written, you had me at the edge of my seat at the end of the chapter.”

—Yaara Dror, Palo Alto, CA


“That was so powerful. I’m looking forward to the rest of the book.”

—Julie Mitrani, Henderson, Nevada.


“Awesome beginning to a beautiful love story.”

—Diane Frankle, Menlo Park, CA

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