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The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood
Contemporary fiction

The Reckless Oath We Made

Repeat author

Bryn Greenwood is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include All the Ugly and Wonderful Things.

by Bryn Greenwood

Excellent choice

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Quick take

Strong Don Quixote vibes, from the author of 2016 Book of the Year winner All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. Better brush up on ye Olde English.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Quirky

    Quirky

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Snarky

    Snarky

Synopsis

Zee is nobody's fairy tale princess. Almost six-foot, with a redhead's temper and a shattered hip, she has a long list of worries: never-ending bills, her beautiful, gullible sister, her five-year-old nephew, her housebound mother, and her drug-dealing boss.

Zee may not be a princess, but Gentry is an actual knight, complete with sword, armor, and a code of honor. Two years ago the voices he hears called him to be Zee's champion. Both shy and autistic, he's barely spoken to her since, but he has kept watch, ready to come to her aid.

When an abduction tears Zee's family apart, she turns to the last person she ever imagined—Gentry—and sets in motion a chain of events that will not only change both of their lives, but bind them to one another forever.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Reckless Oath We Made.
The Reckless Oath We Made

Chapter 1

Zee

People talk about having an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. I had a pair of imaginary bill collectors, so no matter which way I turned, there was somebody to remind me I needed money. That’s how I ended up on a train at four o’clock in the morning with my nephew and a hundred pounds of weed.

We were hours behind schedule, but the westbound Southwest Chief was running on time. When the two trains met each other, they rattled back and forth, and the air that leaked in through the vents smelled like diesel and burning brakes. I could see into the other train’s windows, where a few people were still awake. Usually, it made me feel lonely, seeing those people so close but separated from me.

This time felt different. Having Marcus’ head resting in my lap reminded me I wasn’t alone. He was small like his mother and dark-?haired like his father, but when he was asleep, he was like me. Always running hot and trying to burrow his way into things. After hours of him sleeping on me, my hip hurt so much I kept hoping he would wake up, but he slept through the railroad crossing bells in every small town we went through. When he did wake up, rolling over and grinding his forehead into me, I didn't make him move. I smoothed his hair down and said, "Shh, it's okay. I'm here. Go back to sleep."

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Why I love it

Get ready to call in sick so you can devour one of the most imaginative novels of the year! Its wildly original story full of achingly real characters will have you turning the pages like you’re competing in an Olympic reading event.

Zhorzha Trego has a world of problems. She lives with her gullible older sister and five-year-old nephew in Kansas. She waits tables (and sells pot) to try and make ends meet; she is in chronic pain; her mother is a recluse who has filled their family home with junk; her father died in prison; and now there has been an abduction that hits close to home. Enter Gentry, a neurodiverse young man who thinks he is a knight—he literally speaks in Medieval English—whose voices have told him to save Zhorzha. Together, like the characters in Greenwood’s last novel, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, they will change each other’s lives forever.

Three words: What a book! I loved these characters in all their sweet, damaged glory. And you can tell Greenwood does, too. As soon as I started reading this book, I couldn’t wait to see where she was taking them. I will be 100% honest with you—it took me a page to get used to Gentry’s way of speaking, but then I found it added so much more to the story. This is an unusual, beautiful novel, and I was sad to see it end.

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Member ratings (5,482)

  • Kate L.

    Seattle , WA

    A lot of people saying this isn’t as good as her debut. I hate those kind of reviews! It can’t be compared in my opinion. I LOVED this book. Maybe just as much as “All the ugly and wonderful things.”

  • Lindsey M.

    FPO, AP

    Greenwood’s writing is intoxicating. I can’t seem to put her books down once I pick them up. I really loved Zee opening up and accepting Gentry for all that he is. Absolutely wonderful❤️❤️❤️

  • Lorraine T.

    South Easton, MA

    I absolutely loved this book. I could not wait to find time to read. I love Bryn Greenwood’s characters so much that I ordered any other books that she had written that I did not read. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Breana E.

    Reno, NV

    I absolutely love Bryn’s books! She crafts such amazing stories that are so different from anything I’ve ever read. She had a talent for making awful scenarios fascinating - I can’t wait to read more!

  • Amanda G.

    Washington, WV

    It took me a while to get used to the Olde English, but I can’t imagine this story without it! I love the unique characters. They don’t care that their relationship doesn’t make sense to anyone else.

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