69 pages 2 hours read

Bryn Greenwood

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2016

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Part 1, Chapters 1-6

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1

Part 1, Chapter 1 Summary: “Amy: March 1975”

Content Warning: This section contains scenes of incarceration, drug use, and intense violence, and it centers on a sexualized relationship between an adult and a minor. It also discusses suicidal ideation.

As Wavy’s cousin, Amy describes the early circumstances of Wavy’s life. Born in the back seat of a stranger’s car to parents without a permanent home, Wavy comes to live with Amy’s family at age five when both her parents end up in jail. Wavy is soaking wet and carrying a grocery bag with a few clothes and an unwanted baby doll. She won’t tolerate being touched and says almost nothing until she recites the names of the stars to an awestruck Amy.

Amy’s family tries to connect with Wavy, who eats out of their trashcan at night and unravels the overly fancy dresses her aunt sews for her. As the only person her cousin will talk to, Amy enjoys her private relationship with Wavy. Then Amy’s mother, Brenda, discovers Wavy is talking to Amy, and worse, that Wavy and Amy are sneaking out of the house at night. Once they are caught stealing a copy of Oscar Wilde’s Salome (implied to contain the provocative Aubrey Beardsley illustrations) from the library, the girls are separated and Wavy is sent to live with her grandmother.