Some tropes associated with the author include:
- Canada, Eh? : Her novels are set in Canadian locations, although the Dark And Troubled characters subvert the trope.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Her novels tend to be big and sprawling and focus on generations of a family.
- Parental Incest / Rape as Drama : Lots of both.
- Ripped from the Headlines : The first section of The Way The Crow Flies is based on the Steven Truscott case.
- Time Skip : From one generation to another, usually, or from childhood to adulthood.