Monsoon Madness Readers Comments

  “I really enjoyed reading this novel. It took a awhile to get into, but once immersed its hard to put down. I look forward for more books from author G. Rusk.”

Judiah M.

  Monsoon Madness is a superb novel, written with so much sensory imagery that the reader actually experiences the events and scenery along with the characters. Both hilarious and infuriating, Monsoon Madness is a wonderful, gripping story of survival of both woman and nature. Gae Rusk's writing is mesmorizing. I couldn't put it down. FANTASTIC!!”

Laura K.

  “The vivid detail that reveals the inner workings of the unusual characters of Monsoon Madness twisted around my ideas about erotic adventure. These people are different! In what is truly a smart new genre, the "literary bodice-ripper," Rusk gives us the rare sexy, racy, escapist read with a central character who is striking enough in her personality and odd enough in her ethic to earn real-time gossip.
   Yes, Cecily Havenshack is the lamest woman of the 70s. No feminism here...she is defined by her men, and she comes to her unusual kind of self-realization during her shallow and unsatisfying marriage.
   Rusk cleverly exploits the human parallel of the brutal seduction and marriage of so many ancient goddesses, those classically feminine archetypes.
   I love the descriptions of Nepal, and in a way, I feel like I've been invited on a private visit with a knowledgable ex-pat who lives well in a third-world country.

Ann M.

  “This book is SO visual and SO sensual; beautifully written... It is a great vacation book, especially if you are stuck at home, since the pages take you a million miles away.
   Monsoon Madness would be a great film...Halle Berry: buy this book! You'll be glad, a fine role for you! A diplomat's wife goes animalistic in the wilds of Nepal.
   I want to know how Cecily turns out at 40!"

Madeline N.
Washington DC

  “The story was excellent, full of unexpected twists, and I was aghast at what your heroine had to endure to find her freedom. You have a wonderful way of presenting situation and place. Your story brought back memories of being in foreign places in my youth, when I was so totally clueless about human nature, always refusing to believe the worst but being terrified anyway.”

Tess B.

  "Monsoon Madness is the most powerful and horrifying account of the breakdown of a woman that I have ever read. I think of John Updike's use of place to shape character and Michel Tournier's sense of geography as the driving force of the story."

Bill S.

  "Monsoon Madness, a novel by Gae Rusk, AM '75, was featured as part of a showcase of alumni authors at the Stanford Bookstore during Stanford Reunion Homecoming Weekend in October."

Stanford Educator
Fall '05

  "Monsoon Madness is wonderful! A true page turner."

Paula R.

  "I bought and read your book, practically in one sitting. And now I can't wait for the sequel - I really want to know what happens to Cecily next!"

Martha R.

  "Couldn't put the book down, read until 3am. Fantastic. You've invented a new genre, the anti-romance novel. Worked for me."

Sandy T.

   "I just finished your novel - I was mesmerized! Suzanne gave it to me for my birthday. As soon as I started reading I could tell it would be a wild ride. Gae you are a gifted writer, I can't wait for your next book..."

Kathy A

   "Monsoon Madness is a seductive journey into a sensual, exotic world. Gae Rusk's viscerally poetic images are haunting and unforgettable. Once I started reading, there was no stopping -- or turning back."

Jill Marie Landis
Author of Heat Wave

    "Gae—I very much enjoyed meeting you and your delightful children. Steph and I bought Monsoon Madness at Borders, and I read it on the plane ride back to CA. What an interesting concept—blending reincarnation with the immortality of the gods. To me, the key sentence is found on p. 124: 'She is his consort now and for the next thousand avatars, with no escape in sight.' But, of course, she does escape by breaking the inevitableness of her karma when she seeks revenge on Beau (Zeus, who is no longer the primary god, but is subject to the whims of the local gods, and is no longer in control [correct?]). Whether Cecily is Io, or Leda, or Sylvia doesn’t matter, she was raped and broke the chain, and I think that is what is important.
     I look forward to reading more of your work."

Tom W.
Irvine CA

   "I wanted to also let you know I read your book while at Cheryl's. I really enjoyed it and will be anxious to read your next."

Vicky S.
Tyrone GA

   “Gae Rusk’s writing sings off the page.”

Jocelyn Fujii
Author of Under the Hula Moon

    “Wickedly funny and provocative, Monsoon Madness is a great adventure.”

Cris Evatt
Author of 30 Days to a Simpler Life

    “I wanted to slap Cecily, and then JOIN her on the adventure. Gae’s writing lets me escape to an exotic world. I can smell the incense and see the beauty of Nepal. A GREAT respite from my workday."

Michele Rundgren

    "Gae Rusk’s first novel surprised and delighted me. Her sensory images made me feel it all.”

Betty Kikumi Meltzer
Beaumont CA

   "Gae, I read Monsoon Madness several months ago and put it on the shelf, not sure who to recommend it to. I enjoyed reading the book and have been trying to think of literary language to send you about the compelling narrative, unpredictable action, scenic descriptions, etc. But, I guess I was still bothered about the brutal victimization and how she seemed to accept it. I thought back to the Salvador days and how heat in the tropics has that effect of suspending common sense and reverting/converting to the sensual. Just something to break the oppressive monotony of the weather. So it must be with the monsoon.
   At school there are half a dozen teachers and staff that pass books around. We don't all have the same tastes in literature, so I am always a little careful what I recommend to whom. The other day I was talking to the school secretary, Grace, who is an avid reader of anything that has print on it. We were talking about Dan Brown. My oldest son likes his books and I had just read the one about the NSA (Grace's son works for the Agency and they got a big hoot out of it) Well, to make the long story short, I gave her Monsoon Madness to read. The next day she had read half and was very intrigued by the characters, setting, and mystery of what was going to happen next. The next day she was done and left me a sticky note on my desk, "funny, sad, loved it" I talked with her later in the day and she said it was compelling and then we got into a discussion about the ending. Was she going for revenge (Grace's take) or to be victimized again (my possibility) The principal (also a woman) overheard our conversation and she took the book to read. I think you will have a number of fans at Clear View when it makes the rounds.
   Gae, I also enjoy reading your poems on the website. And I am happy that this book has been published and it looks like others are on their way. All of the very best to you and your children."

   Jim D.
San Diego

Please send your comments on Monsoon Madness to Gae at

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