cover image Waiting for the Cyclone

Waiting for the Cyclone

Leesa Dean. Brindle and Glass (PGW/Perseus, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $15.95 trade paper (215p) ISBN 978-1-927366-509

In Dean’s eclectic debut collection of short fiction, women take center stage. The stories flit across Canada and the Americas, telling tales of summer romances, hitchhiking in Alberta, and love so overpowering that it crushes its object. Bound by nothing but the intention to portray women’s interior landscapes, these stories present imperfection in all its glorious variety: a mother enters rehab to treat her alcoholism, leaving her kids with a family friend who is hiding her own pharmaceutical addiction; a married woman wakes next to a beautiful stranger; circumstances bond two drastically different women in friendship; a teen goes in search of the mother who abandoned her as a baby, with no success. Focusing on how circumstance can change the pacing of relationships, these stories zoom in on the ways in which the characters are “no longer in sync.” “The Four Bradleys,” with its carefully interwoven narratives presenting different interpretations of the central action, is the standout story of this collection from a promising new author. (Oct.)