Praise for Monsoon Season

Katie O’Rourke’s debut novel reads in a wonderfully unique way; her lyrical prose and the unstructured path of her story make Monsoon Season a refreshing journey through the art of literature.  (read more)
                                                            -Casee Marie, Literary Inklings

Monsoon Season is touching and feels honest; at times, the prose is lyrical and knowingly observant. Part coming-of-age, part love story, part family drama, it is peopled with vivid characters and tells a story that pulls at the heart and engages the mind. This is what it’s like to love someone, to make a mistake, to start over. These universalities and their nuanced delivery are the strength of Katie O’Rourke’s debut novel. (read more)
                                                    -Mary Vensel White, The Qualities of Wood

Reading the first chapter immediately put me in mind of the likes of Margaret Atwood and Alice Sebold. This is literary fiction with real emotional strength. Moments of seemingly quiet devastation rise up to suddenly punch you in the gut - the scene where Riley's father thinks she has something on her face which turns out to be a freckle says more about a strained relationship in a couple of lines than I've seen entire novels take five chapters to do. Yet, in spite of the immediate tragedy in the novel's opening chapter, Katie O'Rourke manages to inject subtle moments of humour that give her protagonist both credibility and above all, humanity.
                                                   -Malcolm Richards, The Hiding House

There's a quiet pace about this novel that moves the reader along like a mild river current. Underneath that mild current there teems the emotion of the various viewpoints to create a very compelling novel. The opening is beautifully crafted to set the scene and allude to the pent up emotions contained in the hub of characters in the novel. It's Riley's pregnancy that initiates the monsoon and we are drawn into the novel to see what damage such a storm will unleash.
This is a beautifully written literary novel that takes its time to create the tension, slowly and carefully and doesn't rush out backstory and facts in great lumps that hinder the pace. The backstory flows into the narrative seamlessly and enriches it. The dialogue is authentic and contributes in its sparsity to the distinct voice of the book.
                                                   -Kristin Gleeson, Selkie Dreams

Monsoon Season is a perfect example of how literary fiction can be gripping and compelling, and would be more popular outside of book club circles if more of it was written like this.
Author Katie O'Rourke knows how to spin a tale. In fact, she seems to flirt lightly with other genres when describing the environment and events, like people drowning in a storm. I have little doubt that she could pen a thriller or even a horror story if she put her mind to it. The image of a drowned man clutching dry piles of sandy red Earth in his bloated hands is chilling, and describes the absurdness of the Tucson weather perfectly.
But these techniques take a support role to the literary fiction angle, which means strong characters who grow and evolve as the story progresses. This, Monsoon Season has in abundance. Riley is one of the most well-defined characters I’ve come across, and I read a lot of literary fiction. She is the every-woman type of character, young, out on her own, making terrible mistakes and figuring out how to deal with the consequences. The great thing is that even the sub and minor characters get the same star treatment, with little details about how they look, how they act and how they talk rounding them out until they become real people.
I have to reserve a special paragraph for the dialog. When characters talk it advances the story here while giving more details as to their thoughts and motivations. It’s the ultimate example of showing a reader something over telling them. And there is a good mix of it in the story.
I think Katie O’Rourke is destined to become a household name.
                                                       -John Breeden II, Old Number Seven

The scenes with Jack and Riley are bliss. O'Rourke has conveyed all they've shared and felt through their long friendship quite beautifully in short scenes of memories and conversations. The period when Jack is caring for Riley is SO well observed: the way she swings in mood - needing him but hating needing him, trusting the friendship/questioning it - this is a portrayal of the most beautiful and real of friendships and she's captured it perfectly.
Dialogue is excellent - and I don't say that lightly. Pace is perfect - slow as suits lit fic and yet interspersed with these memories and tiny scenes. Result is a languorous read which keeps moving forwards.
This is really well-crafted. Beautifully told - no overwriting, no strangled metaphors, not a cliché in sight. I really enjoyed reading it. 
                                                        -Sandie Zand, The Sky is Not Blue

Right from the first chapter it's immediately apparent we're in the hands of a gifted storyteller. The image of the cadaver with the dirt in their hands is such a redolent one, startling in its simplicity.
The bit where Jack describes how he'd like to rip open Ethan's chest...I'd say that's about one of the most grotesquely beautiful things I've ever read in my life.
Excellent work.
                                                            -Dave Ocelot, The Baggage Carousel

The opening, with its religious debate hooked me straight from the off. The language employed is tight and well paced, giving a slow release of information, none of which is superfluous. The resultant strained relationship between Riley and her father is well crafted – there is a depth of feeling here that is so often lacking in modern fiction, even that which purports to be literary fiction.
I have no negatives to add – The truth. For me this is spot on, and Katie is obviously and demonstrably a very talented writer. 

                                                            -Robert Heath, Fink 

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