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The Reckless Oath We Made
by Bryn Greenwood

Published: 2019-08-20
Hardcover : 448 pages
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A provocative love story between a tough Kansas woman on a crooked path to redemption and the unlikeliest of champions, from the New York Times bestselling author of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

Zee is nobody's fairy tale princess. Almost six-foot, with a redhead's temper and a ...
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Introduction

A provocative love story between a tough Kansas woman on a crooked path to redemption and the unlikeliest of champions, from the New York Times bestselling author of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

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.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. In the midst of bad people doing bad things, and good people doing bad things for the right reasons, which character do you think is the moral compass of the book?

2. Zee refers to herself as homeless, even when she ostensibly has a place to live with LaReigne. Do you agree with her definition of homeless? What makes a place home, as opposed to a place where we sleep? What about Gentry? Where is his home? What does it mean for him to build a tower with/for Zee?

3. So often in television and movies, sex is presented as an act that just happens. A couple kisses and, with little or no communication seen on screen, they have sex. Because of Gentry's autism-associated sensory issues, he and Zee develop a simple system to communicate when he needs to wait, and when they can go forward. Can you imagine a world in which it was commonplace to discuss consent on such a detailed level? What would that look like in entertainment? In your life?

4. Zee's mother has nearly entombed herself in a house full of stuff, some of it sentimental objects, but much of it worthless junk. What does Dottie's stuff tell us about her? What does Zee own? How do you interpret her limited personal belongings? What about Gentry and what Zee describes as his "armory?" Do we value objects differently based on whether they are practical, sentimental, or symbolic? What objects in the book seem most valuable to you and why?

5. Loyalty plays a big role in the story, but what does it mean to be loyal? In traditions of chivalric or courtly love, black is often the color of faithfulness. Gentry's armor is described as "all black," but is he the most loyal character in the book? If not him, who? What happens when loyalty is betrayed?

6. When Gentry tells Zee the story of Melusine, Zee remarks "like mother like daughter." How much does she see Dottie in herself? How does that sense of heritage/inheritance affect how Zee moves through the world and interacts with people? Are there other kinds of inheritance in the story?

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by heathergaugler (see profile) 11/08/19

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