Thursday, July 31, 2014

All I Love And Know: A Novel by Judith Frank

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

With the storytelling power of Wally Lamb and the emotional fidelity of Lorrie Moore, this is the searing drama of an American family on the brink of dissolution, one that explores adoption, gay marriage, and true love lost and found.

For years, Matthew Greene and Daniel Rosen have enjoyed a contented domestic life in Northampton, Massachusetts. Opposites in many ways, they have grown together and made their relationship work. But when they learn that Daniel’s twin brother and sister-in-law have been killed in a Jerusalem bombing, their lives are suddenly, utterly transformed.

The deceased couple have left behind two young children, and their shocked and grieving families must decide who will raise six-year-old Gal and baby Noam. When it becomes clear that Daniel’s brother and sister-in-law had wanted Matt and Daniel to be the children’s guardians, the two men find themselves confronted by challenges that strike at the heart of their relationship. What is Matt’s place in an extended family that does not completely accept him or the commitment he and Daniel have made? How do Daniel’s complex feelings about Israel and this act of terror affect his ability to recover from his brother’s death? And what kind of parents can these two men really be to children who have lost so much?

The impact that this instant new family has on Matt, Daniel, and their relationship is subtle and heartbreaking, yet not without glimmers of hope. They must learn to reinvent and redefine their bond in profound, sometimes painful ways. How does a family become strong enough to stay together and endure when its very basis has drastically changed? And are there limits to honesty or commitment—or love?

my thoughts:

Grief is deep.  It is painful, difficult, and very real.  In Judith Frank's beautifully written novel, All I Love And Know, we get to witness firsthand, the various ways in which people handle loss and change.  Matt and Daniel are a couple living in a small town in Massachusetts.  They have their friends, their routines, their careers, and each other - life is progressing along rather smoothly.  Until the day that Daniel's twin brother and sister-in-law are killed by a bombing in Jerusalem.  With one phone call, their lives are forever changed.  Rushing to get to his brother's funeral and to deal with the realization that he will soon be guardian to his niece and nephew, Daniel pushes Matt away and retreats into himself.  Matt on the other hand rushes ahead and plans for the kids' arrival into their home, by turning his old office into their new bedroom.  He's hurt by Daniel's perplexing behavior (never including him in any decision and blatantly ignoring him at times), but doesn't know how to deal with the deaths of these two people he loved as well.  Of course, they struggle to come to grips with all the newness in their lives - everything is changing so fast and all at once.

All I Love And Know is a tragic story about politics, religion, same-sex relationships, family, death, and loss.  It is a character driven family drama that really sinks its hooks in you.  The characters are flawed in such authentic ways, that their many their mistakes make them feel so real.  I absolutely loved getting to know Matt and Daniel is this fantastic book - I may have hated some of their actions, but I loved how complex they were.  They are characters I won't soon forget.  As for the writing and the story, well, simply put - it was fantastic!  Its a heavy read, but a worthwhile one. 

I would definitely recommend All I Love And Know to fans of fiction, specifically books about family dramas, and to fans of Judith Frank's works - her writing is superb!  In case you were wondering what everyone else thought about this book, here's the TLC Book Tours schedule for:  All I Love And Know
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

This sounds like an incredibly compelling story. It certainly has a fascinating premise

Nadia said...

Holly, it really was a compelling story. I think anyone who reads it will get so much from it.

Dot said...

Fantastic review, shall definitely be getting this!

Nadia said...

Dot, thank so much :)

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

This sounds like the kind of book that hits you hard in the gut and stays with you.

Thanks for being a part of the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

Nadia said...

Heather, thanks so much! I loved being a part of this tour :)


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