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All We Know of Love

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  126 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Jo Shepherd grew up on a farm in the Pacific Northwest under the loving care of her grandfather, Frank. After spending months nursing him through his final painful illness, Jo receives a vision of the Virgin Mary, who sends her to Italy to live out her dream of becoming an artist. In doing so, Jo must leave behind her home and her best friend Jack, and risk losing him fore ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 15th 2001 by Broadway (first published 2000)
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The writing in this quiet steady book keeps me absorbed. Her description of the Sistene chapel is, for one who has never been there, one of the most breathtaking I have ever come across. The book is worth the read just for this one page of beauty! However, upon completion I conclude that it is a rather strange story. It feels as if it was not fleshed out enough, that the characters and events did not always feel full... not that they were false but that they fell short somehow.

Perhaps I am getti
When I read the jacket of this book, I thought it may be a bit over the top with the Virgin Mary sending Jo to Italy, but I gave it a chance. It wasn't a bad story. I especially liked her relationship with her grandfather. I didn't think there was enough development with Jack and the ending was horrible. I do like happy endings, but she should at least see Jack before the book ends! For someone who lets the Virgin Mary lead her, Jo certainly did get over her head in Italy. She not only loses her ...more
Bridget Conroy
This was my first book by this author and it was just ok. I was hoping something would happen to make it get better but really it was just lackluster. It was nice she finally found herself by the end of the book but I never felt connected to her or bonded with her so I didn't feel over joyed with her the whole time. This is a book you can pass on.
Mel Mayberry
As a person who can't even draw stick people, I've never known how an artist really views the world. From the beautifully vivid descriptions of the Sistene Chapel, to the barn on the family farm, and to the creative process of the artist herself, the author brings to life the elements making up the journey of discovery among an interesting cast of characters.

This novel takes Joanna, the aspiring artist, on a quest to realize her inspiration, her religion and her talent. Along the way, she also d
Not badly written, and it's clear that the author has a lot of interests, particularly in creativity, art, "home", finding yourself, who you call your family, etc. Unfortunately, she tried to put everything into this one story, and as a result, there's a kind of complicated mess. It's still a decent book, but I just don't think the author accomplished what she was trying to do. There are a lot of slow-moving passages that aren't quite as thought-provoking as they "should" be, and the relationshi ...more
Story of a woman who lost the only family she had and the process she went through to "find herself." This entailed her going to France and New York and the journey ended at home.

Many characters were not developed that I felt should have been. There were side stories that were left incomplete. The author introduces one character as having entered the story in 7th grade, then speaks of the character in grade school. I was "lost" a few times in the story. This type of thing drives me crazy. This i
I thought I would enjoy this book much more than I did, so it was a disappointment. With the combination of subject matter like art and living both abroad and in the Pacific Northwest, I was hoping to identify with it more. But ultimately, I found that not only did I not relate to the protagonist, I grew to be annoyed by her. So, in the end, I just finished the book to finish it and not because I was really driven to.
Effective tale told in tenderness prose. Solid in the author's description of art, desire and the way love always heals your heart in the end. It was at first a little confusing as the author moves back and forth in time, but it eventually captures your heart. Perfect to read on a dark February night while the snow slowly falls around your back porch light, and you reminisce and dream of your past love.
A touchingly honest account of a young woman (18-25) coming to maturity as a person and as a quirky, self-trained artist. Well told (if occasionally a little overwritten) in alternating chapters between the year she spends in Florence, Italy, and her return to her grandfather's farm in eastern Washington State where she grew up with her best friend and true love.
The Cute Little Brown-haired girl
My mother lived across the hall from the author of this book. When it was published, she gave us signed copies. If you are into reading local authors, here's a good one for you about a relationship, how it is somewhat interupted and thwarted, and then salvaged in the end...but not really in the way the characters want or expected.
I truly enjoyed this book - I felt the strong emotions that art and creativity can arouse in people. The author portrayed very powerfully the sense of loss felt by the main character about the death of her grandfather and the love triangle that developed when she was in Italy. I hope that this author continues to write!
It skipped around a little too much for me in the beginning, but it was a quick read, and I enjoyed a lot of the writing. And a love story about two people who have been best friends since they were children? Right up my alley. I don't know that I'd pass it along, but I enjoyed reading it.
The female main character in this book goes through a lot in Italy. She reminds me of my friend Jen who is school there now. I like when she and her two man friends go to see the Sistine Chapel. My sisters just got back from Rome and said it was something everyone needs to do in their lifetime.
Brenna Bonner
Dec 27, 2008 Brenna Bonner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Monica
This book took me home, to two places I have lived in and loved- the Pacific Northwest and Italy. I wanted the memories and images it brought up in my mind. A very good first novel, with beautiful insights into the mind and soul of a female artist.
I really liked this book. Its about relationships and art, with some traveling thrown in. All things that are fun to read about. I wouldn't say its a fun book, there are some heart wrenching parts, but its a good story.
This book includes some of my favorite themes: art, faith, and love. It is about a love left behind, the process of an artist, the actual physical pain of loss, and finding love again. I heart Katie Schneider!
Wonderful story about a young woman who travels to Italy to become an artist, the people and places she leaves and runs to.
To me, this was very reminiscent of Sylvia Plath's works. It hovered on the verge of being a depressing read.
Feb 19, 2008 nimrodiel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to nimrodiel by: Morsecode
See where this book travels next, at:
Enjoyed the setting in Italy. Interesting love triangle (or square?).
This story filled me up, even as feelings leaked out my eyes.
Really liked it.
April Roods
April Roods marked it as to-read
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Carol Friedman marked it as to-read
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All We Know of Love: A Novel

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