All I Love and Know

All I Love and Know

by Judith Frank

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Overview

Told with the storytelling power and emotional fidelity of Wally Lamb, this is a searing drama of a modern American family on the brink of dissolution, one that explores adoption, gay marriage, and love lost and found.

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. What kind of parents can these two men really be? How does a family become strong enough to stay together and endure? And are there limits to honesty or commitment—or love? 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062302878
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/15/2014
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Judith Frank is a professor of English at Amherst College. She was the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, has held residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell, and is the author of a previous novel, Crybaby Butch.

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All I Love and Know: A Novel 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting book by Judith Frank that tackled a lot of issues that are close to my heart. She tackles the gay issues fairly well. The mixed feelings of two gay men being thrust into parenthood, the issues later in the book regarding gay marriage. There is even some discussion in the middle of the book about questions of loyalty (I do not want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't read it) and culpability. Ms. Frank presents so much ambiguity with the gay issues. She presents all sides of gay marriage, parenthood, acceptance, stereotypes. Everything. But I disagree with a previous reviewer that said "you don't have to be gay, Jewish or know anything about Israel to enjoy this book." You need to know about Israel and it's complicated history to understand that while Judith Frank could see ambiguity in the gay issues, she was perfectly clear that Israel = bad and Palestinian = good. No nuance, no history, no explanations of the political situation in the region. She is so one sided in her presentation of the Israeli/Palestinian issues that her main character, Daniel, actually forgives the terrorists that blow up his twin brother and sister in law! She takes a "who could blame them?" attitude to the whole story. She even forgives the couple that was murdered by the terrorists for making the choice to live in "occupied" Israel by having them tell Daniel that if something happens to them they should take the children and raise them out of the country. Amazing that even in the discussion of the holocaust survivor grandparents she is able to present the idea that there is some ambiguity in the way Israeli's viewed the survivors (some with pity some with disdain) . But only the issue of Israel vs Palestinians is so clear and unambiguous that there is no other side to present. Ms. Frank employs every racist buzz word in her limited conversation of the conflict in Israel : Israel as occupier, "apartheid state" , the view of the poor and helpless Palestinian who has no choice but to blow himself up along with a cafe full of innocent Israeli citizens. That someone who was able to be so compassionate about the gay issue could lack so much understanding of the difficulties of the Israeli issues ruined my enjoyment of the book. I reserved judgement until the very last page of the book hoping that somewhere in the book Ms. Frank would present something that spoke to to the fact that what goes on is Israel is complicated and multifactorial and deserves a more fair treatment. She disappointed for sure.
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
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 KNOW AND LOVE 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!
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings More than the typical family drama book.  With political, religious and same sex discussions, I loved how all these controversial topics were woven into this one family and their tragic story.  Matthew and Daniel are monogamous partners living in Northern United States in a town that is very accepting of the lifestyle they have chosen to live.  When one of them loses their brother in a terrorist bombing in a controversial place and time - Israel shortly after 9/11; they are now thrust into the middle of tragedy and drama.   I think no matter where you as a reader fall on the spectrum with each of the issues that are presented in this book, you can appreciate the family in the middle and enjoy how each of them are mourning and moving on with their lives.  It is a little on the heftier book side, but that gave the author plenty of pages to delve into how long mourning can take and the ups and downs of a year after a family tragedy occurs.  I also loved how none of these characters were perfect, instead they were so real and honest and I almost felt like I was sneaking a glance into someone's home - AND I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is fabulous.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hated this book
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Once again I find myself in a difficult place reviewing a novel that I am questioning why I would have wanted to review this novel since it goes against my own personal religious beliefs on the side against gay marriage. So for my Christian blogging readers, I caution you against this novel based on the premise that is speaks about not only gay marriage being acceptable, but also for the fact that it does against the very core beliefs God speaks against. With that being said, let me outline what the novel All I Love and Know from author Judith Frank conveys. This novel is based on the relationship of two men, Matthew Greene and Daniel Rosen who are currently living together and find themselves dealing with the outcome of Daniel's twin brother and sister-in-law who have been killed in a bombing in Jerusalem, leaving the men to deal with what will happen to the couples children. It explores how each of the men approach the complexities now facing each of them in learning they have been asked to adopt the children and how it changes their lifestyles and relationship. While I can understand the issues facing the two men, I can understand how even these issues would impact a traditionally married couple, a man and a woman, who themselves faced the same possibilities and that is how I tried to manage getting through the novel to provide an honest review. The circumstances are similar but not entirely the same and thus the reason for my providing the rating that I did. It's times like this that question whether or not you even want to share a review but honesty is why I chose to become a book reviewer. They all can't be good and everyone is entitled to their opinion. In my own personal case as a Christian, I can't give this novel a great rating because in doing so would compromise the beliefs I have and also convey that I accept the novel as it is written and again something I can't do to be fair with my own beliefs in God. However, other people will provide a far different view on this novel and as such, I wanted to convey that in my review. While I tried to maintain a level of objectivity, I had difficulty when the subject of sex between the two men were discussed and how they would maintain their lifestyle in the presence of the newly adopted children. My review is simply to state what a reader will find when opening the cover and if this does not offend you than you will more than likely appreciate the novel as the author intended, but for me, I have to be honest and say I did not like the novel even though the premise of having a married couple dealing with the suddenly adoption of children into their lives and subsequent consequences stemming from those decisions is a great idea. In my opinion, I'd give this one a 2 out of 5 stars based solely on my own rating system. I received All I Love and Know by Judith Frank compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable one.