All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

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Bryn Greenwood is an American writer, teacher and academia administrator. She has written several books, including All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, a novel published in August 2016. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas. Learn more about the author, her book, as well as its ratings and reviews.

Bryn Greenwood grew up in Hugoton, Kansas. She is one of seven sisters.

When she was a little girl, she liked telling stories, true or not. The first story she ever wrote in pre-school was a thinly veiled autobiography about a family of aliens.

Bryn got a BA in French Literature, a BA in English, and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing.

She worked as a teacher in Japon and lived in Niigata. After that she came home and dedicated her time to a variety of social services audiences in schools. Since then she has been working in academia, both teaching and pushing papers. She got married and finally got divorced.

In the last twenty years, she has written several books, like Lie Lay Lain, Last Will, and All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (2016). Her essays and short fiction have appeared in The New York Times, Chiron Review, Kansas Quarterly, Karamu, and The Battered Suitcase.


A beautiful and provocative love story between two unlikely people and the hard-won relationship that elevates them above the Midwestern meth lab backdrop of their lives.

As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It’s safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.

By the time Wavy is a teenager, her relationship with Kellen is the only tender thing in a brutal world of addicts and debauchery. When tragedy rips Wavy’s family apart, a well-meaning aunt steps in, and what is beautiful to Wavy looks ugly under the scrutiny of the outside world. A powerful novel you won’t soon forget, Bryn Greenwood’s All the Ugly and Wonderful Things challenges all we know and believe about love.

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One comment

  1. ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS is an amazing reading, a book I won’t forget even if, first, I was a bit reticent to read it because of the title and the synopsis. It’s a story with a large variety of emotions, sometimes happiness, sometimes sadness, and many others. You will be faced with questioning what is right, what is wrong. Gut-wrenching is the right word for such a book. I won’t tell more about it. I let you try it!

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