Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Long Thaw: Published!

My second book came out today. It's available on amazon. It's been a bit more low-key than when the first book came out, but I'm still pretty psyched. The sales for Monsoon Season were way beyond my expectations, so I'm feeling a lot less pressure this time.

I'll be sending signed printed copies out next week, at which point I will post a link for those who still haven't gotten the hang of this e-book thing.

Here's the synopsis from my publisher:

Following on from the bestselling ebook MONSOON SEASON comes O’Rourke’s second novel, which explores the power of secrets and the unbreakable bonds of family.

Cousins Abby and Juliet were born into one big, close family. But when Juliet’s parents divorce, it tears the family apart and sends the girls in very different directions.

Juliet grows up too quickly, forced to be responsible for her younger sisters as well as an alcoholic, single mother. Abby grows up a pampered, sheltered only child.

As women, they try to mend the rift and come to terms with the way their shared history connects them, in spite of the years apart.

Told in alternating narrative, A Long Thaw explores how the two women are shaped by the traumas and triumphs of childhood. It’s a story about the power of secrets and the unbreakable bonds of family.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Book Review: Faith

Last year, I read Jennifer Haigh's The Condition and called it my favorite book of the year. Having just finished another of her books, as early in the year as it is, this may be it.

Faith centers around the child abuse scandal in the Catholic church, specifically Boston in the 2000's when the scandal was exploding in the city. But the novel is really about the McGann family. The oldest son, Art, is a priest who stands accused of abusing a child. His family is divided in their support of him. His brother is disgusted by his mother whose trust in Art's innocence is absolute.

Worse, his sister, Sheila. "If he did it, you'd forgive him," he says to her, and she doesn't deny it.

Sheila narrates the story, assuming an omniscient viewpoint that allows her to tell it from each character's perspective, combining her knowledge of them with the versions they have told her. Faith is another portrait of a dysfunctional family, as sick as it's secrets. Sheila's awareness that by writing it all down, she'll be shattering that silence, had me checking and rechecking the book jacket to be sure this wasn't a memoir.

I thought I knew where the story was going, but was happy to be wrong. Haigh is an expert at depicting the complicated history and specific architecture of family. I am very glad to see she has other novels out so I don't need to wait another year.