Book Review: The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood

The Reckless Oath We Made  by Bryn Greenwood Genre:  Literary fiction Synopsis:   A moving and complicated love story for our time, Th...

The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood

Genre: Literary fiction

A moving and complicated love story for our time, The Reckless Oath We Made redefines what it means to be heroic. Zee has never admitted to needing anybody. But she needs Gentry. Her tough exterior shelters a heart that’s loyal to the point of self-destruction, while autistic Gentry wears his heart on his sleeve, including his desire to protect Zee at all costs. When an abduction tears Zee’s family apart, she turns to Gentry—and sets in motion a journey and a love that will change their lives forever.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Drug abuse, Domestic abuse, Abduction, Ableism, Racism and racist slurs, Misogyny, Death and murder

Overall rating:  ★★★★☆

Bryn Greenwood’s novel All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is the first book I can remember reading that made me question myself, feel uncomfortable with what I was reading, but also really love the entire story. To this day, whenever I think about that book, I feel a sense of shame and horror, but continue to think about the immense expanse of emotions I felt while reading that book. I’m not sure there will ever be another book that makes me feel all the things I felt while reading and thinking about All the Ugly and Beautiful Things, and if there is, I don’t think I’d want to read it. But I did know that when Greenwood wrote another book, I would want to read it. So when I saw The Reckless Oath We Made as a Book of the Month option back in 2019, I knew with no question what my book pick would be. I may have just got around to reading it, but I enjoyed it once I got there.

"Money always decides whether things get better or worse. They never stay the same."

This book is incredibly different than Things, but it was special in its own way. Like Things, this novel is fully character-driven, and while reading it, I found myself challenging my assumptions about those characters. Though this story definitely houses adventure and action, the thing that makes it truly wonderful is its characters, who could not be more different, and that made me enjoy the book in a way that surprised me.

The places where I struggled the most were the chapters from Gentry’s perspective. His character speaks strictly in olde English, and that’s not a dialect I find myself reading or hearing often. I became more accustomed to it as I read the 400+ pages of the book, but it definitely was a factor in how long it took me to get through the entire novel.

I was actually reminded of the novel When We Were Vikings, which was actually released after The Reckless Oath We Made, but I read it first. I found Vikings to be problematic in many ways, but there are similar themes in both books, and I enjoyed Reckless Oath so much more.

You Might Also Like