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Bryn Greenwood

Forfatter af All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

5 Works 2,257 Members 139 Reviews

Om forfatteren

Bryn Greenwood is a fourth-generation Kansan. She earned an MA from Kansas State University in Creative Writing and continues to work in academia as an administrator. Her novels include All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Last Will, and Lie Lay Lain. Her short fiction has appeared in "Chiron vis mere Review", "Karamu", "The Battered Suitcase", and "Menda City Review." (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre

Værker af Bryn Greenwood

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (2016) 1,874 eksemplarer
The Reckless Oath We Made (2019) 326 eksemplarer
Last Will (2012) 30 eksemplarer
Lie Lay Lain (2014) 25 eksemplarer

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Another of my Book of the Month Club (August 2019) I am finally getting to read. Despite my initial resistance to the premise of this story -- a twenty-something train-wreck of a Wichita woman meets a twenty-something autistic k-night (yes, the "k" is pronounced here) who pledges himself to be her champion -- I found this part love story, part crime drama, part fairy-tale quite compelling. The narrative unfolds through the voices of a number of its central characters, a device I do not always find to be handled well, but it was here. It gave texture and moved the story along to its climaxes and denouement. A deftly crafted story, replete with a castle, a code of chivalry, collateral damage inflicted on families of criminals, legacies of Klan activities, but also a heroic quest. This is the first of Bryn Greenwood's books I have read. I will look for others she has written before.… (mere)
bschweiger | 15 andre anmeldelser | Feb 4, 2024 |
This was a tough book but I’m glad that I finished it. As I could see where it was heading I just kept saying “No, no, no” and hoping something would change. My heart broke for Wavy and the fact that the relationship with the one person who truly loved her just got so twisted around. It’s so sad that there are just so many children that are in loveless families with absentee or messed up parents. The title pretty much sums up the book.
slittleson | 119 andre anmeldelser | Feb 2, 2024 |
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Review of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

I’ve been waiting all year for a book to break my heart, and this is it. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood lives up to its title, showing life in all its light and darkness, all the pain and relief. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is a love story, but I wouldn’t call it a romance novel. It revolves around a girl named Wavonna Quinn, Wavy for short, and her love for Jesse Joe Kellen. This coming-of-age story spans thirteen years, through which Wavy deals with abuse from her parents and psychological trauma as well as the usual trappings of growing up, like school. Throughout these years, Kellen is her rock, her one constant. Sounds pretty standard, right?

The wrench in the works here is that Jesse Joe Kellen is more than ten years Wavy's senior. Jessie Joe fell in love with Wavy when she was eight years old. But don’t worry (I certainly did). It doesn’t get lewd. Greenwood uses her powerful gift with words to give nuance to the narrative, making All the Ugly and Wonderful Things neither a tragedy nor a romance, but a portrayal of life’s hardness and softness that broke my heart and then tried to gather up the pieces.

The most wonderful part of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is how the characters shine through the prose. The narrative shifts deftly between perspectives, using one perspective per chapter. In one chapter, a teenage Wavy describes the suffering and happiness she sees in others:

“During my junior year, a boy in Amy’s class killed himself. He had terrible acne, purple welts like bee stings all over his face, and he went home from school and hung himself. I could have told him there was no sense in rushing toward being dead. It would find you soon enough, and before it did there were pleasures to make your heart hurt less. If I lay very still in bed at night, I remembered how Grandma’s house smelled. The taste of mint ice cream on Kellen’s tongue. Donal jumping on the bed to wake me up.”

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is not a simple novel with a pat ending. There are no easy fixes. Even after the plot wraps up, none of the characters are unbroken, but it does show us that there are stars in even the darkest sky, tiny pinpoints of light to ease the heartache. In that way, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things shows us what life is like, both painful and extraordinary, full of ugly things certainly, but wonderful things, too.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my unbiased review.
… (mere)
beckyrenner | 119 andre anmeldelser | Aug 3, 2023 |



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