Natalie Gordon is a girl on a journey. You see four years, four months, and fifteen days ago, her mother walked out mid-sentence never finishing what she was going to say, and ever since that moment, things have never been the same for Natalie. Now she’s desperately searching for answers, traveling twenty-four hours on a bus to Florida, to find her mother, to find herself, to find out something about love.
All We Know of Love is a story that we have read before. A story of a young girl who was deserted by her parent and who is on a journey to find the answers she needs. Luckily for her, she’s got twenty-four hours to start figuring things out, and comes across several different people who start helping put things into perspective. On the surface, it seems like a pretty basic story but, I promise it is a bit more than that.
Through her words, Nora Raleigh Baskin builds a young adult novel that resonates deep within the heart. Natalie is flawed and her flaws are as genuine as they come. I felt so much empathy for this character and I wanted her to find the answers she was looking for. Yet, I also wanted to talk some sense into her at some points which luckily for me there were some other characters that she came across that helped do that for me. One of the reasons I wanted to talk some sense into her was because of her relationship with a boy named Adam. It is not a good relationship yet Natalie cannot seem to get away from it. She keeps getting pulled back because of her desire to be loved and to be wanted regardless of the circumstances. And it is completely understandable as to why she is feeling the way that she is feeling given her history of feeling abandoned by her mother.
I loved all the characters that Natalie comes across during her journey. They are all from different paths of life and all offer a little bit of insight into the desire of being wanted and loved. None of the messages of directly in your face either. They’re all implicitly implied which I felt gave depth to the novel. In fact, I almost want to say that people can take different things from the messages within the novel depending on their interpretation of them. I really liked all the messages about having the courage for self discovery, and that sometimes you really don’t understand love no matter how hard you try. Because sometimes all we know of love is not always enough.
Another plus about All We Know Of Love? There is a roadtrip involved! Like I said Natalie is traveling 24 hours on a bus to Florida during a strong majority of the book so aspects of being on the road do filter into the story. It was fun traveling on Natalie’s journey with her, and discovering different things as she witnessed her unexpected answers. Also, it is a pretty quick read. I read it one sitting, and was really captivated by its simplistic beauty and its hints of sadness, laughter, and love. It was a story I had read before but yet still felt brand new to me.
Disclosure: Received paperback copy from publisher for review
Other Reviews of All We Know of Love by Nora Raleigh Baskin:
Athena’s Books: “All We Know of Love… is Pain Sometimes…”
Confessions of a Bibliovore: “Baskin weaves a compelling narrative about the need for understanding and love.”