By Judith Frank
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 07/15/2014
My Rating: 4 Stars
Judith Frank’s ALL I LOVE AND KNOW, is a riveting account of love and loss, diversity, adoption, and finding your way back from tragedy to something beautiful.
Matthew and Daniel, a gay couple residing in Northampton, MA (before gay marriage is legal), where they are in a comfortable relationship, until their world is turned upside down.
Daniel’s twin brother, Joel and sister-in-law, Ilana, have just been killed by a suicide bombing in Jerusalem, and the gay couple’s life has been totally uprooted, as their wishes for their children’s care is left in their will.
When Matthew and Daniel, find out they will have the responsibility for the care of two young children, they are not prepared for what lies ahead.
Daniel is a little more grounded of the two, (however, he can be controlling), as Matt is younger, and more of the NY club scene, and unsure he is ready for this new lifestyle.
To further complicate matters, the grandparents, devout Holocaust survivors, are not happy with this arrangement, nor the secular, American Rosen’s about their grandchildren being raised by Matt, whom they don't really like.
Daniel is under tremendous stress and is still grieving, as he chooses to bear all the responsibility, and feels he is in the middle. He becomes emotionally distant with Matt, while Gal acts out, due to the tragedy, and the new living conditions. Daniel begins pushing Matt away, and you can imagine what happens next – everything goes downhill.
ALL I LOVE AND KNOW is a novel of flawed characters experiencing raw emotions, in a world and time of not so accepting gay couples, especially those raising children.
When the book begins, not a lot of likable characters, and they are dealing with much stress; however, as the story moves along it is a powerful, beautiful, and moving one of complex and rich characters. As they grow in their love, overcome challenges, communicate, and embrace their situation, they begin to experience real unconditional love, a true family bond, against all odds.
This was my first book by talented storyteller, Frank and look forward to reading Crybaby Butch, her first novel.
As always, the audiobook narrator, Peter Berkrot was divine, with a stellar performance!