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Moon Trees and Other Orphans

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Winner of the 2018 St. Lawrence Book Award

"The women in Leigh Camacho Rourk’s stories carry guns and they know how to use them. This is the best kind of fiction, well-honed, lean and flinty with deep pockets of compassion and vulnerability and hope, every sentence a made thing. If you love Lucia Berlin and Dorothy Allison, (or even if you don’t) these women will get under
Paperback, 152 pages
Published October 2019 by Black Lawrence Press
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Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
These are some really nice stories. Gripping, just a little twisted, and tightly written. Love the worlds and the people in them. Good stuff.
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The cover is a great representation of this collection of 15 stories rooted deep in the back roads and bayous, and multiethnic culture, of rural Louisiana. If there's a theme that runs through most of the pieces, it's of people struggling to overcome the neglectful or broken legacies of their parents, usually single ones. The prose is terse and powerful, some of the best short story writing I've read in a long time. Rourks packs a lot of story, a lot of character, and a lot of feeling into these ...more
Jacqueline Masumian
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This little book of short stories is packed with colorful characters, many of whose lives are sadly on the wrong track. Set in the deep South, the bayou country of Louisiana, most of the stories focus on young adults who have been abandoned by one or both parents and are struggling to cope.

The opening story, "Moon Trees," is quite powerful. A young brother and sister, living with their spinning out of control schizophrenic mother, grapple with having no real family and, worse, no sense of their
Thea Swanson
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rourks offers us characters and settings, rich and real, drenched in bayous and blood. I reveled in this world, in her intimacies of dialects and turns of phrase. Never having been, I now have an idea. What a treasure box of lives, misfits, pain, and even laughter.
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Someone once called Leigh Camacho Rourks the literary great-granddaughter of Flannery O'Connor, and it's true. What better compliment could there be? Rourks isn't afraid of exploring the dark parts of our hearts. She writes about characters--like conmen and schizophrenics--who don't always make us comfortable. But she writes about them with so much humor and compassion and hard-edged beauty that we're glad to have met them. And it doesn't hurt that Rourks is a poet, something you can tell from t ...more
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This tour de force is a must read collection. Leigh Rourks captures something special in these well-crafted pages, and you will love every flawed and oh-so-human character trapped in these pages just as they're trapped in their habits and imperfect natures. They say the devil is in the details, but this devil is full of piss and vinegar. As much as I love today's mainstream fictional worlds, so bombarded with stories about over-the-top, flashy, superheroes saving the world from epic evil, I foun ...more
Janice Horning
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
LInda L
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Not a fan of short stories and some of these were pretty bad -- not even understandable. A few were OK, but there were very few happy endings. Just not my kind of read.
Melissa Flores
May 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
These short stories have such vivid characters.
Frank Karioris
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely lovely book by a wonderful writer plumbing the depths of what (lack of) connection looks like.
Hot Redhead Media
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
With stories that alternate between a gut-punch and a bluesy wail, Leigh Camacho Rourks debut collection is a book of memorable stories that depicts the bayou life with realism and poetry. A particularly compelling facet of this book is how it shows more of South's diversity than many books of Southern Literature--exploring the relationships of people from multiple generations and backgrounds. If you like wild fiction, here's a good call for you. If you like hearing an author read from and talk ...more
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