Tuesday, June 3, 2014

All I Love and Know by Judith Frank

5 Star

For years, Matthew Greene and Daniel Rosen have enjoyed a quiet domestic life together 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 bombing in Jerusalem, their lives are suddenly, utterly transformed.

In dealing with their families and the need to make a decision about who will raise the deceased couple's two children, both Matthew and Daniel are confronted with challenges that strike at the very heart of their relationship. What is Matthew's place in an extended family that does not completely accept him or the commitment he and Daniel have made? How do Daniel's questions about his identity as a Jewish man affect his life as a gay American? Tensions only intensify when they learn that the deceased parents wanted Matthew and Daniel to adopt the children-six year old Gal, and baby Noam.

The impact this instant new family has on Matthew, 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.

Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

I would rate this book even higher if I could and I definitely am going to count All I Love and Know as one of my favourite reads of the year,even perhaps on the best-ever list. This was one of those emotionally intense stories that made me just care so much about the people involved and feel like I was hearing about a friend's life.

The story focuses on the lives of Matthew and Daniel and their partnership together. Life has not been easy nor uneventful for this couple and it becomes even more complicated after the suicide bombing that leaves Daniel's brother and wife dead and their children orphans. Obviously this was a completely shocking beginning to the book, but what follows continues to pull on your heart strings in major ways. No stone seems to be left unturned as this story continues with issues of infidelity, adoption, acceptance and ultimately love.

I rarely find a story that so completely pulls me in as this one did. It was an epic story with characters that were so complete and well developed that I almost had trouble believing that they were not actual people who I already knew and loved. Despite that fact that Matthew and Daniel were sometimes at odds, I even found myself wanting for both of them to prosper, to find happiness and hopefully with each other.

All I Love and Know swept me away and made me care and cry as well as cheer the triumphs big and small and will be one that I cherish and hope to never forget.

Thank you to William Morrow for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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