Claire King

Everything Love Is

Published by Bloomsbury

Dec 06, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

In Claire King's new novel, we meet Baptiste Molino. Baptiste is a therapist who runs his practice out of a houseboat in Toulouse, France, and he has a curious history. Adopted by the midwife who helped birth him from his dying mother on a train, Baptiste carries what little he knows of his story with him through his life and the relationships that sustain him. Baptiste is a lonely soul, spending his days on his moored boat and frequenting the bar/restaurant where he has befriended the young waitress, Sophie, when into his life steps Amandine Rousseau, a woman looking for love and happiness.

Everything Is Love follows Baptiste as he negotiates his relationships with Sophie and Amandine, all the while trying to come to terms with his own hazy family history. Chapters change narrators, from Baptiste to another whose identity is not always completely clear. Baptiste's own psyche emerges throughout the book, as the relationships he fosters develop, both in friendship and romance. By the end of the book, Baptiste finds himself having to come to terms with both a personal tragedy and a glorious attainment of his lifelong goal of ultimate love and connection.

The way the book is laid out allows for the story to unfold like peeled back layers of an onion until the reader is so ultimately invested in the tales of Baptiste, Sofie, and Amandine that no proper resolution to the factors set in play would be perfectly satisfying. But with Everything Love Is, King paints a true picture of the struggles of life, love, happiness, longing, and friendship. Things don't always go as planned or as desired, and the end is not always pretty. But it is real. And to that end, Everything Love Is is as affecting as they come. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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