“Baptiste Molino has devoted his life to other people’s happiness. Moored on his beloved houseboat on the edge of Toulouse, he helps his clients navigate the waters of contentment, whilst remaining careful never to make waves of his own.
Unlike those who come to him for help, Baptiste is more concerned with his past than his future: particularly the mysterious circumstances of his birth and the identity of his birth mother whose only legacy to her orphaned son was a violin, a wooden statuette, and a word inked into the skin of her arm.
But Sophie, the young waitress in his local bar, believes it is time for Baptiste to raise his aspirations and rediscover passion . . . and she thinks she can help. She talks of striving for something more 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 winter approaches and 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.”
My Thoughts: Baptiste lives a quiet life. He has his work. He has his houseboat. He has his nightly routine of walking to the local pub for dinner. He has his piano to keep him company. He is a man who stops to smell the roses and definitely does not sweat the small stuff. In fact, many would consider his life idyllic. It takes the entrance of an equally mysterious female client to set him on the path of getting out of his comfort zone and explore the wider world.
Everything Love Is is the story of Baptiste’s entrance into a larger world. He is set in his ways and does not handle crowds well, yet he recognizes wisdom in his friends’ pleas to get involved and meet new people. In many ways, his involvement in Sophie’s politics and his enchantment with his new client are a rebirth for him, as he sheds his old identity, rediscovers just who he is, and finally sets aside the haunting mystery of his mother’s journey before his birth and her death.
What makes Everything Love Is so powerful is the emotional connection you feel with Baptiste. He is a simple man with simple needs, and you get to know him intimately. He is the type of character that brings out your protective nature because he is a gentle giant that harms no one and does not deserve harm in return. His successes become your successes and his losses are equally yours.
Ms. King achieves this astonishing connection with her lyrical writing. Her sentences are highly evocative, enticing all of your senses and placing you into the heartbeat of any scene. You may never experience Toulouse in real life, but Ms. King brings Baptiste’s world to such exacting life that you experience it through her writing. In short, her writing is breathtaking, taking a simple story and making it a masterpiece.
Claire King writes basic stories. They are not exciting or flashy; there is no suspense or plot twist that keeps you guessing. However, her stories are anything but boring or simple. They incorporate the essence of humanity and capture the human experience with emotional precision. Plus, her prose is enough to make you stop and weep. Everything Love Is is a powerful testament to her storytelling skill and well worth the emotional anguish.