All I Love and Know
by Judith Frank
William Morrow. 432 pages, $26.99
AN AIRPLANE might seem a clichéd place to start a story, but that, and an anguished reflection, are where Judith Frank begins her second novel, All I Love and Know. The protagonists are Matt Greene and his partner Daniel, who seem to be mismatched—and they both know it. Matt is the happy-go-lucky, easygoing youth who wears his heart on his sleeve. Daniel, by contrast, tends toward gloominess, often around his Jewish heredity.
The two men have a semi-committed relationship and live in Massachusetts, more-or-less happily, but their differences—and their different political outlooks—are brought to the fore when Daniel’s twin brother and sister-in-law are killed by terrorists in a café near their home in Jerusalem. This precipitates the opening plane ride, but a funeral isn’t the only reason for the hasty trip: Daniel’s sister-in-law had asked him to raise their children, six-year-old Gal and one-year-old Noam, in case of an emergency.