- Book of the Month Club 2016 Book of the Year
- Second Place Goodreads Best Fiction of 2016
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
What’s it about?
Wavy is the daughter of drug dealers. When the story opens she is an 8-years-old master of staying out of the way. Wavy does her best to look after her little brother Donal, and spends her time gazing at the constellations in the sky. Over time she forms a strong bond with one of her father's henchmen- a bear of a man named Kellen. Over the next few years Kellen will become the only adult she trusts and loves. When Wavy's aunt is called into the situation- she sees this relationship in a totally different way. What Wavy sees as the most beautiful thing in her life, the world views a different way.
What did it make me think about?
This is a most unusual love story. Something about this book reminded me of The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. I read that book years ago so I am not sure what triggers the comparison, but I liked them both. Two very unusual love stories.
Should I read it?
OK- so I really did like this one. It was so different than anything else I have read lately. The beginning and end were really strong for me- but I must admit to getting slightly bogged down in the middle of the book. I gather that Bryn Greenwood's mom is a recovering addict and the details in the book ring true. I would recommend this book, especially to anyone who likes a good romance. Be warned though- this is a different romance than most of us are comfortable with...
" 'Everything's going to be different this time,' she said.
The first two weeks at The Program, it was different. She was Good Mama and followed the rules. She washed our clothes and put them away in drawers in the new apartment. She cooked dinner. She didn't hide in her bedroom and smoke her pipe like she did before she got arrested.
Then she woke up Scary Mama instead of Good Mama, and I knew things weren't going to be different. I never knew which Mama she would be when she woke up."
If you liked this try-
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens