All I Love And Know

July 22, 2014 Fiction, Literary 21

All I Love and KnowTitle: All I Love And Known
Author: Judith Frank
Source: from publisher for a TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This book rocked my world with it’s unbelievably moving portrayal of flawed, believable characters fighting through a tough situation.

Matt Greene and Daniel Rosen have overcome many challenges to be with one another, including their differences from one another and Daniel’s parents’ belief that Matt isn’t good enough for their son. However, nothing they’ve faced previously prepares them for the events set in motion when Daniel’s twin brother and his wife are killed in a bombing in Jerusalem. Even though Daniel’s brother and his wife wanted Matt and Daniel to raise their children, they face strong opposition from their family. As they fight for custody, Daniel also struggles to grieve while Matt tries to be their for Daniel, even as Daniel shuts him out.

When I read a book this wonderful, I always wish I had more of a way with words, so I could do the book justice. I desperately want to convey the essence of this book to you so that you can share the love and awe I feel for it. I’m not someone who always loves flawed characters. I sometimes even find them annoying. But in this book, when I say the characters are flawed, what I mean is that they are created with flaws and strengths and likes and dislikes and feelings that are so believable and so self-consistent that it seems they could step off the page. I thought the author also did an incredible job showing that gay couples are just like any other couple without diminishing the extra pressures put on their relationship by the prejudices some people have towards gay couples.

At first, I wasn’t sure I liked Daniel very much, but as we get into the story and share his perspective, my heart ached for both halves of this struggling couple. The author flowed seamlessly between their perspectives, as well as the perspective of their adopted daughter. Throughout the book, the author connects what’s happening to Matt and Daniel back to greater issues, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and gay rights. She made me do a lot of thinking about these issues but I never felt that she was moralizing at me. Instead she just gave these issues a human face. I think there are parts of this book which could make many people uncomfortable, including some (necessary) description of the characters’ sex lives and perhaps the characters’ views on Israel. I think that’s a good thing though, making this a book which will push peoples’ boundaries. It’s also moving and beautiful and so, so wonderful. Even if you’re nervous about the topic, perhaps especially if you’re nervous about the topic, I highly encourage you to give All I Love And Know a chance.


21 Responses to “All I Love And Know”

  1. Melinda @ The Book Musings

    This sounds so good and I added this to the list. I have never read a book about a gay couple, and I think this one would be a good read considering it also tells the story of the prejudices and judgement gay couples have to deal with, on top of the normal relationship problems. It’s also sad that the family themselves don’t support your relationship! Thanks for bringing this book to my attention.
    Melinda @ The Book Musings recently posted…And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled HosseiniMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      Oh wonderful! This is one of those books I loved so much, I’m thrilled when anyone is interested in reading it 🙂

  2. Jancee

    This sounds so good! I love it when the characters are so believable that I feel like I could meet them in real life. Does that make sense? I like seeing characters who have good and bad because that makes them so real and raw.
    Jancee recently posted…It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?My Profile

    • DoingDewey

      It makes complete sense! I think it’s a great way of describing how I felt about this book. If a character seems like they could be a real person, it means the author has done a truly fantastic job.

    • DoingDewey

      Me too! In general, I’ve had incredible success with the TLC book tour books. They have some really great selections!

    • DoingDewey

      That’s exciting! I loved this book so much, I’d love for everyone else to read it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂

  3. Heather J @ TLC Book Tours

    I know what you mean – sometimes I just can’t express how good a book is and I just want to yell READ THIS to everyone.

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

    • DoingDewey

      Exactly! Sometimes I wish that were enough for a review – just read this 🙂

      Thanks for sharing my review!

  4. Ann @Books on the Table

    What a terrific review — you DO have a “way with words”. I am looking forward to reading All I Love and Know. I’ve had great luck discovering books through TLC Book Tours too — in almost every case, I’ve really enjoyed the books I’ve reviewed.

  5. Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens

    I think there are parts of this book which could make many people uncomfortable, including some (necessary) description of the characters’ sex lives and perhaps the characters’ views on Israel. = I’m certainly not going to be one of those people. As a matter of fact, the mention of sex had made me interested with this book.

    And yey, it’s LGBT so I’ll definitely add it on my TBR. I haven’t read an LGBT book so whenever I come across LGBT recs, I immediately include it on my TBR.

    Great review, Katie!
    Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens recently posted…Filipiniana Sunday {10} + Book Review: In Over Her HeadMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      This is only the second time I’ve intentionally picked up an LGBT book (the other was Ari and Dante), so that’s something I’d really like to work on myself. If you haven’t discovered Cayce at Fighting Dreamer yet, I’d recommend checking her blog out. She always has some great LGBT recommendations.

      Personally, I think it was a good thing the sex was included. Gratuitous sex in any book isn’t really my thing, but I did feel like it was a critical part of the story here. It was also a nice extra step outside my comfort zone and into something new, since Ari and Dante didn’t include any sex.

  6. Shay

    I absolutely loved this book as well, and I’m so glad I gave it a chance. I’m not normally interested in books about unexpected parenthood, but All I Love and Know was not at all like most stories of that sort.
    Shay recently posted…All I Love and KnowMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      I don’t think a book that was simply focused on unexpected parenthood would have interested me as much either. This was definitely something more unique!