Everything is Ruined

A harrowing road trip across the wintry high plains has lasting repercussions for best friends whose lives drastically diverge in the weekend’s troubled wake. against the backdrop of a world on the brink of inconceivable transformation, spanning five decades, EVERYTHING IS RUINED is the story of two remarkable women; the forces that shape (and Could destroy) them; and the inner resources upon which each must draw in order to survive.

wyoming highway winter

“Just as they came to the end of the cutoff, a monster they had not known was gaining on them caught up, a tractor-trailer like the one they’d met earlier. A loud, decelerative, machine-gun popping was the only startling indication of its approach. The speeds of the larger and smaller must have nearly matched because the impact was gentle—more a push than a crash. They hung, suspended, between the contact and its consequences. The Chevette was thrust across the T, off the road—Jamie bellowed something, a cry of protestation—into a great pillow of snow, where it stuck, partially buried. The rig turned south and went on its way. The whole thing took no more than a few seconds and concluded with the subsiding roar of the diesel engine. Then, they were alone again.”

In 1976, seventeen-year-old BO is a gender rebel, a potty mouth, and a liar who cherishes the truth but can’t seem to make herself tell it—even when her most important relationships, her health, and maybe her life, are at stake. Her best friend, GREER—a quiet intellectual and budding geologist, descended from a long line of geologists, ranchers, and political influencers—believes in standing up for what is right, but instead stands aside, saying nothing as her brothers bully their way through all opposition and their prominent family erodes from within.

How Bo comes to grips with her sexuality, mistakes, and guilt to embrace purpose is one story; how Greer finds the courage to speak out is another. This suspenseful, intimate, generational look at gender, power, actions, and consequences explores a central question: for what—and to whom—is a woman responsible?

Fans of Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend and Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth will find recognizably complex characters, a challenging friendship, a dysfunctional family, historical accuracy, and a satisfying, if uneasy, ending.

EVERYTHING IS RUINED is unpublished.

The author is seeking representation.

Contact jannalgoodwin@ymail.com