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Daniel and Joe are identical twins. They grew up in a Jewish suburb of Chicago. Daniel now lived in Northampton, Massachusetts and Joe was married and lived in Israel.
Daniel met Matt at a gay bar in NYC. While there, Dan and Matt met and talked for a short time. Dan gave Matt his phone number and he stuffed the slip of paper in his coat pocket.
Shortly thereafter, Matt's best friend, Jay, died of aids. The world seemed to be crashing down on him. He needed to get away from NYC for a couple of days. away from the drugs, and the people he thought were his friend's. He remember that he had Daniel's phone number in his coat pocket. He was a little anxious but decided, why not, all he can say is no. Matt pushed the buttons, talked with Daniel and plans were made that he would visit with Daniel on the weekend.
Their relationship grew and Matt moved to Northampton to live with Dan. They were opposites in many ways but had grown together and made the relationship work. Matt and Dan were living a quiet domestic life in Northampton when Daniel received a phone call that his twin brother had been killed in Jerusalem, along with his wife, while drinking a latte at a small cafe. Their two children, Gal, six and the baby, 11 month old Noam, were now without parents and David and Matt's lives were suddenly transformed.
The funeral preparations were in place and ready to occur after Daniel arrived in Israel and was able to make a positive identification of his brother, Joe. Jewish law wants any deceased person buried soon after death. Joe and his wife, Allena, were buried that same evening.
The will needed to be read because of the two children. There were two sets of grandparents, one living in Israel and the other in Chicago. Daniel, when he had visited his brother and Allena last yearhad agreed to raise the two children, along with Matt, if both of them were to die.
Allena's parents protested that the children would be taken away from their place of birth. Daniel's mother could not understand the thought of the children being left with "queers."
Daniel knew that "the gay card" would eventually be thrown in the midst of things. Daniel, once again, explained how both Joe and Allena had absolutely no issues that he, being gay, would be a problem. Their other request was that the children be raised in America. They were taking Gal and Noam back to Northampton to be raised by himself and Matt. That was what his brother and sister-in-law wanted and he would honor their request.
This book was emotional at times. The issues about gay men raising children was an integral part of this novel. Love and trust in others was also a theme of, All I Know and Love. I read the first chapter and knew that I wanted to listen to every chapter. The narrator, Peter Berkrot, was great. He added truth and feelings while reading this book for the listener. The novel also dealt with today's issues, not those of 1981. The character development was deep. I came to know everyone. I don't even remember the length of time it took to finish this book. I only know that every chance available, I listened. Learning about Jewish people, a small fraction of Israel, David's view about who should be living on the land that Palestine say belongs to them, the Jewish ritual of burial and many other things. This book has peaked my interest to learn more about the Jewish people. I will read this book again sometime in the future. I hope that this review has given you enough information to want to read this book. If not, read it anyway. The credit you use will be well worth it.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Thank you for this wonderful book. As the mother of gay son and his husband. It was refreshing to hear about the gay community. Hopefully this book will be able to understand the gay community