All I Know

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Pub Date Jun 11 2024 | Archive Date Jun 30 2024

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Description

In her debut novel, All I Know (Buckberg Mountain Books, June 11, 2024), Holly C. LaBarbera deftly tells the story of a young woman who overcomes childhood trauma and tragedy to try and build a life with the boy she’s always loved.

LaBarbera, a psychotherapist and professor, uses her extensive knowledge and experience to explore the complexities of romantic relationships as well as those within families and among friends, showing that love comes in many forms, including choosing to love oneself.

About the book: Kai Martin sees her life as a series of concentric circles—her twin brother Kade occupying the center sphere with her, their parents surrounding them in the next, and the Tyler family in the outer loop–a connection Kai plans to make official by someday marrying Josh Tyler. The Martins and Tylers share memorable times together, but under the surface, they are two dysfunctional families struggling with alcoholism, depression, and abuse, all of which leads to a devastating event that knocks Kai off her axis and makes her doubt everything she thought she knew.

Josh is there through it all, and Kai eventually gets the romance she dreamed of, embarking on a life of travel and adventure with the boy she always loved. Yet reality is more complicated than any childhood fantasy, and when painful family patterns are reenacted between them, Kai must decide how much of herself she is willing to sacrifice for Josh. Ultimately, she must confront the heartbreaking truth that as much as we try to help the people we love, we can only truly save ourselves.

Perfect for fans of Ask Again, Yes and Everything I Never Told You, All I Know is a celebration of indomitable spirit and finding faith in oneself.

In her debut novel, All I Know (Buckberg Mountain Books, June 11, 2024), Holly C. LaBarbera deftly tells the story of a young woman who overcomes childhood trauma and tragedy to try and build a life...


A Note From the Publisher

Holly LaBarbera began her creative writing career with a lightning bolt of inspiration for her first book, the as-yet-unpublished Five Days, followed by All I Know, and is currently revising her third novel. Participating in the Community of Writers Workshop in 2018 significantly contributed to her growth and development as a writer both during her time there and through ongoing connections with other amazing writers who have become critique and accountability partners, both in formal and informal writing groups. Holly is a psychotherapist and an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University’s School of Counseling Psychology, guiding graduate students in becoming licensed therapists.

Holly was born in Hawaii, grew up just north of New York City, and now lives outside of San Francisco. She considers herself equal parts New Yorker and California girl, a loyal fan of the Yankees and the Golden State Warriors. She loves reading and writing and is old-school in both, enjoying the feel of holding a book in her hands and turning actual pages and also doing her part to keep the post office in business by regularly sending handwritten letters and cards, much like her debut novel’s protagonist Kai.

Holly LaBarbera began her creative writing career with a lightning bolt of inspiration for her first book, the as-yet-unpublished Five Days, followed by All I Know, and is currently revising her...


Advance Praise

“A heartbreaking yet uplifting story of the perils found in all families. LaBarbera deftly shows how childhood wounds and mental health challenges impact adult relationships. Protagonist Kai’s struggles will resonate with readers, as will the resilient human spirit that allows her to find hope, to overcome, and to grow into an ever-better version of herself.

-Robert Dugoni, critically acclaimed New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and #1 Amazon bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite police series, which has sold more than 8 million books worldwide and the coming-of-age standalone novel The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell.



“In All I Know, Kai’s heartbreaking journey asks us to confront big questions about family and personal trauma: What happens when the people we love hurt each other? How does that shape our relationships with others and with ourselves? How do we move forward when we can’t forget the past? LaBarbera’s characters are as funny as they are flawed, and I couldn't look away from their struggles to love each other as much as I loved each of them.”



-Claire Boyles, author of Site Fidelity, 2022 Whiting Award Winner in Fiction and Longlisted for the 2022 PEN America/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collections.



“A tender, thoughtful and heartbreaking story, ALL I KNOW is a snapshot of the inner heart. You will fall in love with Kai, a child struggling to decipher the complicated messages that come our way in route to adulthood. It’s raw, it’s real, and it’s compelling through and through.”


-Lee Kravetz, author of the novel The Last Confessions of Sylvia P. as well as acclaimed nonfiction, Strange Contagion and SuperSurvivors


“All I Know captures one woman’s heart-wrenching journey in coming to terms with her past, the trials of two, close-knit families increasingly caught in the web of addiction, and the ongoing struggle to overcome a heartbreaking loss. At its core, it is also a gripping tale of an epic love rooted in childhood, the quest to overcome mutual demons, and the courage to transcend dependency to embrace the possibilities of a new kind of love reborn of mutual respect, resilience, and humility. Readers will root for Kai (and Josh) every step of the way!”

-Susan Dugan, author of the short story collection, Safe Haven


“All I Know is more than a family drama, more than a love story, though it is also both. It’s a moving novel of picking up the pieces after a family tragedy, contending with loss, talking to ghosts, and fearlessly pursuing love and happiness. Kai Martin, the novel’s heroine, reminds us that true connections can never be broken — not by time, change, or even death. Hopeful and unforgettable.”


-Caroline Kim, author of The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories, which won the 2020 Drue Heinz Prize in Literature, was long listed for both the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and the Story Prize, and was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award and the Janet Heidinger Award for Fiction


“ALL I KNOW, Holly C LaBarbera’s immersive coming of age tale, explores what happens to young love as it ages. As we follow Kai through tragedy, transformation, and heartbreak, across the US and Europe, the novel reminds us of the joys and sorrows of self-discovery. A book on grief as much as love, ALL I KNOW won my heart and kept me up past bedtime until its final pages.”


-Amy Meyerson, bestselling author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays and The Imperfects




."..a book that amplifies the great feeling of success at knowing the human spirit is resilient….the author does a brilliant job at explaining how and why Kai makes the decisions she makes, and even if the reader would choose a different path, Kai's point of view is understandable….the characters are very well developed with care and great depth. Not only are the characters well developed, the feeling the reader gets of family in the book is also deep. When some of the family--real or chosen--are not there, the reader feels the void."



-LitPick review

 

“Young members of intertwined families forge a complicated bond in the tense coming-of-age novel All I Know. Early on, the book lingers on one-on-one interactions well, emphasizing its aching inter-family ties…the story is driven by the choices that each of the characters makes, with their complicated family intimacies best established via Kai’s maturing perspective.”



-Foreword Clarion Review


“LaBarbera (Five Days) deftly manages her serious themes of family dysfunction and shared trauma, presenting with sensitivity and realism the key moments that change lives, the everyday stress of seeing family drinking and domestic abuse normalized, and the ways in which Kai and Josh process those experiences as they become adults. Her depiction of the complexities of the dynamic of friends who become extended family feels authentic and compassionate. Descriptions of the natural beauty Kai encounters working together with Josh as his adventure magazine photographer offer some of LaBarbera’s best descriptive prose, though they’re tinged with disquiet, demonstrating Kai’s sacrifice in following Josh into the outdoors.”


-PW’s BookLife


“A heartbreaking yet uplifting story of the perils found in all families. LaBarbera deftly shows how childhood wounds and mental health challenges impact adult relationships. Protagonist Kai’s...


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ISBN 9798989492909
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