Women are too often cast in literature as inherently good and dependable—but this is not the case in the audacious stories of Waiting for the Cyclone. Mary, a closet drinker, leaves her children with Debbie, a seemingly perfect housewife who shoots pharmaceuticals at night. Alison vacations with her husband, but wakes up in the tattooed arms of another man. Donna lies to her family about volunteering in Afghanistan so she can parasail with a lover in Turkey. With authenticity and intensity, Dean challenges traditional literacy archetypes by revealing female characters that are nuanced, contradictory, and boldly unapologetic.