All We Know of Love

All We Know of Love
a novel by Nora Raleigh Baskin


New in Paperback!

New in Paperback!

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Natalie’s obsession with Adam, her glib sometime boyfriend, and the very real possibility of pregnancy compel her to take a 24-hour bus ride to Florida to find her missing mother and some answers about love. On the road, her path crosses those of others: people sitting next to her in diners, stations and bus seats. Baskin drops brief interludes, gorgeous vignettes describing the love experiences of fellow travelers, into each chapter, and readers will soon see striking similarities between Natalie’s story and those of these strangers. Teens will wonder at this unusual, fascinating examination of human intersection and the myriad, imperceptible ways we relate to one another. Varied love verses head each chapter, prompting further introspection. The narrative keeps from straying too far into the metaphysical by sticking close to Natalie’s unrelenting, self-destructive addiction to Adam; readers in the throes of compulsive infatuation will identify with her constant urge to check her cell for messages. Girls navigating relationships with boys, mothers, fathers and friends will gladly share Natalie’s bus seat as she heads south.

Publisher’s Weekly
In her first YA novel, Baskin’s (The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah) portrait of a teen questioning the meaning of love is as candid and alluring as her books for middle-grade readers…. Natalie realizes, even minor connections are what are important in life: “Even the temporary, even the transient, even the people who you are never going to see again but who exist because we need them to, because we are human.” Ages 14-up. (Aug.)

The people Natalie encounters along her journey have side stories that reveal their experiences with love, which helps readers explore the different kinds of love. Female readers will connect with Natalie, especially her emotional vulnerability and her desire to be truly loved by her loser boyfriend. Reviewer: Alissa Lauzon

Natalie’s mother left home four years ago—a sad, lonely woman. Now that Natalie has had a love affair with a guy who doesn’t see her for who she is, she decides to get on a bus south to Florida (from Connecticut) to find her mother. She needs some kind of closure in that relationship before she can love someone else, or love herself. She is worried that she might be pregnant. On the bus ride, she comes in contact with a series of other passengers, and each one has a story, so in a way, this is a collection of stories about people trying to understand what love is. The title is taken from an Emily Dickinson poem, “That Love is all there is, / Is all we know of Love.” When Natalie does locate her mother, she finds a vulnerable woman trying to survive, a woman who does indeed love her daughter as much as she can. At the end of the journey, on the return home, we have some hope that Natalie indeed does have a chance to move on in her life, to love, to trust h erself and believe she is someone worthy of being loved. It’s a tender story of a broken mother-daughter connection that needs to be repaired. Reviewer: Claire Rosser

School Library Journal
During the trip, Natalie encounters a variety of people with whom she briefly interacts, but who leave an impression on her. Their stories are inserted into the narrative as cameos, and she comes to understand that she can be loved for who she is-and not because she was a girl whose mother did not love her enough to stay. A moving coming-of-age story.-Sharon Morrison, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK

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