As you already know from my previous post, I joined a Book of the Month Club and I couldn’t be happier with my first box! I received the novel All The Ugly and Wonderful Things and the book is phenomenal! Although not a novel I would traditionally read, it is one that I will never forget!
“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 litle 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 when her stargazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms and 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, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things challenges all we know and believe about love.”
The paragraph above explaining what you are about to read in All The Ugly and Wonderful Things states it exactly as it is- it challenges all we know and believe about love. Throughout the story I was conflicted on what was traditionally accepted about love, allowing myself to believe in “special” circumstances, yet knowing that what was happening was not right. The relationship between Wavy and Kellen is all but traditional and socially accepted, but the context and situations leading up to their prime makes their relationship, although not defined as lawful, completely and relentlessly intriguing. It was easy to see Kellen as a fatherly figure and I was very much relieved when he entered the plot, but was slowly questioning everything I believed about love and relationships as their relationship progresses. I was truly conflicted between what was moral and what “just is.”
“I love you all the way”
Love is messy and raw sometimes and doesn’t always fit into what is socially accepted. In the same aspect, so is Family. What one defines as a family is viewed much differently to others. Society as a whole is so eager to group situations together, as it did in this novel.
A novel that took me all but 24 hours to read, has completely challenged my views on love, family and relationships. It made me question society. Bryn Greenwood does not tell you how to feel, she lays out the feelings, emotions, and thoughts of the characters and she lets you come to your feelings on your own terms. And although throughout the entire novel I often was conflicted, and sometimes even disgusted, in the end I was cheering for Wavy and Kellen, hoping they would beat the odds, and hoping they would find peace in their disturbed and less than perfect lives.