All We Know of Love

What is love?  That is the question Natalie is trying to answer in Nora Raleigh Baskin’s All We Know of Love.  Well, if I knew the answer to that question, I would sell my knowledge to the highest bidder and live like a queen for the rest of my life.  I don’t really know what love is.  Can something like that really be put into mere words?

Natalie’s mother left in the middle of a sentence.  They haven’t seen each other or spoken in over four years.  This spring break, Natalie is going to try to change that, try to find out why her mother left and seemingly stopped loving her.  Along her journey, Natalie deals with her feelings about her best friend, her father, and her distant boyfriend.  Natalie is defined by her mother’s abandonment, so how can she describe her feelings for all of these people when the person who was supposed to love her the most left and didn’t look back?

Natalie encounters several people on her way to meet her mother.  Each of these people, in some small way, teach Natalie a little about what love is.  When she finally confronts her mom, Natalie finds that love is complicated, even the love between a mother and daughter.  There are no easy answers.

While I did enjoy All We Know of Love, I wish there had been a bit more resolution at the end of the book.  This was a short, quick read, and the language was simple and fairly realistic.  I can see many of my female students enjoying this book, but it will be a hard sell for the guys.  The book does make the reader attempt to answer the question of what love really is.

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