An American original, Peter Rock brings our strangest beliefs to vivid and sympathetic life in this haunting novel inspired by true events.
The Shelter Cycle tells the story of two children, Francine and Colville, who grew up in the Church Universal and Triumphant, a sect that predicted the world would end in the late 1980s. While their parents built underground shelters to withstand the impending Soviet missile strike, Francine and Colville played in the Montana wilderness, where invisible spirits watched over them.
When the prophesized apocalypse did not occur, the denomination’s members resurfaced and the children were forced to grow up in a world they believed might no longer exist.
Twenty years later Francine and Colville are reunited while searching for an abducted girl. Haunted by memories and inculcated beliefs, they must confront the church’s teachings. If all the things they were raised to believe were misguided, why then do they suddenly feel so true?
“A stunning novel about faith and disillusionment and the lingering power of the past. In spare, lyrical prose, and with immense compassion, Peter Rock illuminates a strange and little-known chapter in American religious history. At times, Rock’s uncanny ability to combine mysticism with blunt realism is reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor. (Tom Perrotta, New York Times best-selling author)
“As luminous as it is sinister and innocent, The Shelter Cycle is a book not quite like any other. Peter Rock renders masterfully the ferocity and intensity of bonds between childhood friends as well as adults, coupling also the inescapable loneliness and yet hope within the human soul." (Rick Bass, award-winning author)
“Peter Rock is marvelous at revealing both the insightful strangeness and the madness erring on the outskirts of civilization, and at showing with great sympathy how quickly we can slip from one to the other. A wonderfully humane book about the weirdnesses that make up people’s pasts and the way they persist into the present." (Brian Evenson, International Horror Guild Award-winning author)
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- Darren Fleischer