We can’t always focus on our problems and one of my favourite escapes is to read.
All I Love and Know: A Novel by Judith Frank was just the right thing to take me out of my head for a while.
Rating: Five stars!
I had to sit with this book a while, before I could adequately write about it.
Daniel and Matt are a couple living in “lesbian central” America when Daniel’s brother and sister in law are killed in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. Named as the guardian of the two children left behind, Daniel must deal with his grief and become a father to two small, grieving children.
Meanwhile, Matt is also grieving, but as a gay partner, he is not welcome in the family and is left outside while the family deals with the loss.
This book deals with some big emotions. It explores grief in the many forms it takes and its impact on babies, children and adults. It explores the aftermath of terrorist attacks in a personal manner. It also explores gay relationships and what happens when there is a gay partner as opposed to a straight partner. The disparities are stark.
I chose this book because I was intrigued by the plot outlined on the cover and the pure sense of “otherness” it brought for me. Every part of this story, except for parenting, is “other” to my experience. I revelled in the different point of view. Some of the occurrences in the story were uncomfortable for me and there were some intimate scenes, but it is all conducive to the story.
It is beautifully written and weaves together all these strands into a beautiful story of family love and bonds, however that family comes together.
I couldn’t put it down and recommend it wholeheartedly.