Audiobook, Contemporary Fiction

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood ★★★★★

Wow. What did I just read?

The story begins with the rather sad life of then 8-year old Wavonna (Wavy) Quinn. She’s the daughter of a major meth dealer and a seriously disturbed woman who can’t seem to function without drugs and “her” man. Wavy is the only adult in the house, giving care for her toddler brother and self managing, seeing and living through too much to ever recapture childlike innocence. Her life is forever altered after an encounter in the meadow with one of her father’s men. Joe Jesse Kellen thought he was seeing a vision of an angel at the time and together they form a bond that continues and escalates over the next five years.

It was like watching a slow motion train wreck…I couldn’t close my eyes even though I knew what was coming would disturb me. What I didn’t expect, however, was to become invested in these characters and their relationship. Wavy is an old soul because she had no choice but to be anyone otherwise. It made Kellen’s connection to her more understandable, at least some foundation for it but moreso than anything else, trust was the cornerstone of their relationship. Neither had ever experienced that with anyone.

This book isn’t for everyone as I even questioned whether it was for me. The writing and characterizations are brilliant no matter where you land in judging the subject matter. I never expected my paradigms to shift, let alone move aside. It’s a tough story and one I won’t forget. The narration is excellent and I highly recommend the audio format.

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