Baptiste Molino has devoted his life to other people’s happiness. Moored on his houseboat on the edge of Toulouse, he helps his clients navigate the waters of contentment, yet remains careful never to make waves of his own.
Baptiste is more concerned with his past than his future: particularly the mysterious circumstances of his birth and the identity of his birth mother. But Sophie, the young waitress in his local bar, believes it is time for Baptiste to rediscover passion and leads him into the world on his doorstep he has long tried to avoid.
However, it is Baptiste’s new client who may end up being the one to change his perspective. Elegant and enigmatic, Amandine Rousseau is fast becoming a puzzle he longs to solve. As tensions rise on the streets of the city, Baptiste’s determination to avoid both the highs and lows of love begins to waver. And when his mother’s legacy finally reveals itself, he finds himself torn between pursuing his own happiness and safeguarding that of the one he loves.
Dislcaimer: We received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher (Bloomsbury)
Why we chose it: There was something about the synopsis of this book that intrigued us.
Review: Baptiste Milano is a Kingfisher. He sees through the calm surfaces of the water to the currents below and is able to pick out all the tiny bodies of the fish that swim. Metaphorically Baptiste Milano is a Kingfisher, really he’s a man on a houseboat on the edge of Toulouse. He sees through the surface emotions and problems through to the whirlwind underneath as he’s able to decipher what you really want and need in life.
He’s a part of life and yet almost entirely secluded from it.
The book opens of a train that’s heading towards Toulouse long before we know Baptiste living as the man in the houseboat. From the get go we realised that changes in time and narrative would be regular occurences. Unfortunately for a while we didn’t quite know who was talking or from what point in time they were talking from which was incredibly frustrating.
Eventually, however the confusion stopped.
We were able to differentiate between the narratives and laugh at Sophie. The wonderful waitress who would on occasion draw a picture for a customer. It was amusing and insightful. It’s how we know Baptiste is a Kingfisher. We were able to be intrigued by the hidden gem that is Amandine Rousseau. Mostly though we were able to focus on Baptiste and his life told from his point of you and that of another who we didn’t know for a time.
He is the fulcrum which the entire novel rotates around. His current time in which he likes to visit the bar Sophie works at and attempt to dissect Amandine and a future one where things have changed drastically. The questions he needed answering are the questions that we know we’d likely pursue if we were in the same position. “Where did I come from?” “Who did I come from?” While we don’t remember them being phrased like that, you can feel them saturating every word written by Claire King.
And her words are beautiful. There’s no other way to describe them. In our previous blog post where we reviewed Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven we said we didn’t usually read books that were both contemporary and a romance. That was true then and will likely always be true. The reason we’re bringing it up is because this book felt more like a contemporary novel and a novel that truly explored it’s title.
Everything Love Is. Both it’s good and bad aspects – they weren’t shied away, but neither did they take up too much room and leave the book lacking motion. Yes, there were some problems with pacing. We felt that and from what we’ve seen others have too, but you shouldn’t down this novel because of that. You need to persevere and everything will just fit and work perfectly. You’ll be glad you continued on, finished the book.
We know we were even if we had to come back to it because it’s a gem that slowly uncovers itself and shines.
To conclude, Everything Love Is by Claire King is not what one initially expects, but what one should expect from a novel with such a title.
Thank you all for reading and of course thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for allowing us to read this book.
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