All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
by Bryn Greenwood (Goodreads Author)
TeriLyn's thoughts: **All the Ugly and Wonderful Things generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Bryn Greenwood penned a truly compelling novel. I'm quite grateful for the opportunity to read such a thought-provoking book. Exemplary writing makes this story stand out. But it's the unique and fascinating story telling that made this book everything. Told from the multiple points of view of characters coming and going continuously driving the story forward we learn of a dysfunctional family (to say the least) and a little girl born into dire circumstances out of her control.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is a literary fiction novel with romantic qualities, coming of age themes, and family saga traits. During my reading there were themes that reminded me of two of my favorite books: Copeland's All Families are Psychotic and Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. Outrageous and desperate family antics, uncomfortable settings, and rampant, rapid maturing of young people due to their social circumstance are all present as well as themes of drugs and addiction and the grossly uneducated of our society. Throughout the story a major relationship develops providing both catalyst and conflict as it's highly taboo. Yet it's so evocative in nature because of how we feel. Greenwood flips perceptions right on their heads while making the reader uncomfortable and intrigued at the same time.
Miss Wavonna Quinn, Wavy, is the main protagonist of the book. Her story starts at very young age and progresses through her lifetime. Again, told from multiple points of view. The way settings are explored and relationships dissected was so interesting. Her inner monologues providing must information rather any dialogue. It has a certain stream of consciousness feel to it. Wavy is provocative, scarred, intelligent, and loyal. Her strength is in her perseverance. Connections to her are felt viscerally when you learn of her from other points of view. A great understanding fosters those connections and you feel a part of this girl and her ethereal qualities. Even you feel pity and sadness for her. Even when what's happening to her and around her feels like it shouldn't be happening at all.
"The harder a thing was, the more likely she'd be able to do it."There's so much that could be said for this story. Parts of it made me feel so uncomfortable I had to pause before moving forward. Parts of it made me disgusted in the failings our system. Parts had me astounded at the layers this author uncovered. Parts of it had me so contented at events I wouldn't normally feel contented about at all. But that's the beauty of this book. The range of emotions and the intelligent story telling even when the characters aren't intelligent at all. Bryn Greenwood did something outside the box and she excelled greatly at it. Her writing hooked me from the very beginning. Her telling of this story left me in awe. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things was a extraordinary literary experience and I highly recommend everyone having it.