The journey to finding love can sometimes take a detour. In Jo Sheppard's case, her detour takes her all the way to Italy and back before she finds that the one she loves has been waiting for her right in her own backyard.
After spending months nursing her beloved grandfather through his final painful illness to his death, Jo receives a wondrous vision of the Virgin Mary who tells her to head to Italy to live out her dream of becoming an artist. In taking this fateful leap into the unknown, Jo must leave behind her best friend and childhood sweetheart, Jack, knowing she might lose him forever.
In Florence, Italy, Jo's vision becomes clearer as she becomes intimate with the lives of the saints who inspire her artistic creativity. But her journey to self-realization is complicated when she meets two fellow expatriates, extraordinary young men, each of whom vie for her attention. As the lives of the three young Americans are intertwined, revelations of deep, painful secrets threaten to destroy their relationships, and soon send Jo fleeing back to the familiar shores of home.
Eventually returning to her childhood home in the Pacific Northwest, Jo reflects on her adventures in Italy and how they will affect her future. Her old boyfriend, Jack, is tentatively back in the picture, but will he accept her for the woman she has become? And along the way, Jo learns of a side to her grandfather that she was blind to in her younger days. In her glorious debut novel, All We Know Of Love, Katie Schneider creatively interweaves the blossoming of a young woman's self-awareness with a study of emotional life-lessons to deliver a powerful story of romance and desire. Masterfully alternating tears, laughter, and love, Schneider provides vivid studies of all her characters, ensuring they will not soon be forgotten.
With the recent intense interest in all things Italian, All We Know Of Love will be an intriguing summer read sure to leave the reader longing for nights of starlight and passion.
Sharon Galligar Chance is the senior book reviewer for the Times Record News in Wichita Falls, Texas.