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novels
 
 
 

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. Kellen may not be innocent, but he is the fixed point in Wavy and Donal's chaotic universe. Instead of playing it safe, Wavy has to learn to fight for Kellen, for her brother, and for herself.

 

"Greenwood’s powerful, provocative debut chronicles a desolate childhood and a discomfiting love affair... It’s no storybook romance, but the novel closes on a note of hard-won serenity, with people who deserve a second chance gathered together....Intelligent, honest, and unsentimental."

~Kirkus Reviews (STARRED)

"A memorable coming-of-age tale about loyalty, defiance, and the power of love under the most improbable circumstances."

~Publishers Weekly

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Lie Lay Lain  

Jennifer has a great job and a go-getter fiancé. She’s on track for success, until she witnesses a fatal hit-and-run. Mistaking Jennifer for someone else, the dying victim extracts an impossible promise. Jennifer’s fiancé wants her to forget the whole incident, but when she closes her eyes, she can still see the bloody face of the woman who asked for her help.

Olivia is in a rut. Burdened with caring for her brain-damaged brother and already feeling like a spinster at 27, she’s desperate to escape. In a moment of weakness, she tells a lie that draws an unsuspecting paramedic into her life. As she struggles to expiate the lie, a horrible act of violence will test her resolve to be honest.

Where Jennifer’s promise and Olivia’s lie intersect, their lives begin to unravel.

In Bryn Greenwood's gritty and unsentimental novel, characters struggle to balance what they know to be true against how the world wishes to see them. Dryly humorous and quirky, you'll find yourself thinking about the issues it raises long after you've turned the final page.

~Liz Michalski, author of Evenfall

Rarely does one find a character-centered book so gripping. From first page to last, Lie Lay Lain is impossible to put down. Greenwood's eye for detail is phenomenal, and her dialogue so pitch-perfect that I don't even feel like I've just read a book. I feel like I've become intimately acquainted with two very real people - aspirations, faults, insecurities and all. I tried to start another book after I finished Greenwood's, and I couldn't do it. Jennifer and Olivia were people to me; I cared about them deeply, and I needed time to let them go.

~Ramsey Hootman, author of Courting Greta

 

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Bernie Raleigh is a failure at nearly everything he touches. Nobody notices a loser, and after being kidnapped for ransom as a child, Bernie has spent his adult life trying to avoid being noticed. That's impossible now that he's inherited his grandfather's enormous fortune. The inheritance comes complete with a mansion, a lot of obligations, and a very problematic housekeeper named Meda Amos. Beauty queen, alien abductee, crypto-Jew, single mother--Meda is all those things, and she may be the only person who can help Bernie survive his new and very public life.

  Last Will
     

Last Will is a richly detailed story about finding love in a world that can scarcely offer the real thing. Bryn Greenwood's characters reveal their layer-by-layer complexity with each turning page. Their stories are heartbreaking, but never let go of dignity or beg for pity. Told without sentimentality, Last Will is an exceptional story overflowing with compassion.

~ Heather Sharfeddin, author of Blackbelly, Windless Summer, and Damaged Goods

Bryn Greenwood writes about the wounds that define us, and the possibilities and limits of recovery, with precision, humor, and an unsentimental clarity of vision. I can't wait for the next book from this fresh, original voice!

~ Lisa Brackmann, author of Rock Paper Tiger and Getaway

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by the seat of my pants


There are people, so I'm told, who create elaborate outlines and spreadsheets to aid them in the writing of novels. I have not been blessed with this gift.

A true story about Lie Lay Lain: it started life as four separate stories. I was fifty thousand words and three years in, before I realized that those four stories were all part of the same novel.

The next fifty thousand words were much easier after I understood where the book was going, but if I imagined I'd learn something from that process, I was wrong.

When I started writing All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, I had no idea how any of the characters fit together. I went along gamely for many thousand words, before I stumbled upon the intersection of Wavy and Kellen's lives. After that, I was able to see where the other characters fit in, too.

Of course, after that, I also knew that I could delete the first thirty thousand words I'd written while stumbling around in ignorance. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, an efficient writer.