Passersthrough is a gripping, slippery, spooky book about fragile family bonds, loneliness, and what we choose to remember. A welcome return from Peter Rock, this is a thoroughly Oregon book — filled with mountains, forests, lakes, and creatures. Recommended By Kelsey F., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A father and his estranged daughter reconnect to try to understand a decades-old trauma in this haunting novel, part ghost story, part lyrical exploration of family, aging, and how we remember the past.
At age 11, Helen disappeared in the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park while camping with her father, Benjamin. She was gone for almost a week before being discovered and returned to her family. It is now 25 years later, and after more than two decades of estrangement, Helen and Benjamin reconnect at his home in Portland, Oregon, to try to understand what happened during the days she was gone. Meanwhile, Benjamin meets an odd pair, a woman and boy who seem driven to help him learn more about Helen's disappearance and send him on a journey that will lead to a murder house, uncanny possession, and a bone-filled body of water known as Sad Clown Lake, a lake "that could only be found by getting lost, that was never in the same place twice."
Passersthrough is a haunted, starkly lyrical exploration of family, memory, and the border between life and death.
"A captivating page-turner....Its best elements, like its supernatural overtures, are reminiscent of Stephen King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (1999)."
"An eerie account of the attempted reconciliation between an estranged father and daughter….Rock draws on the mountain scenery to create a surreal atmosphere, culminating in a haunting scene of disaster." Publishers Weekly
"Passersthrough is a difficult novel to pigeonhole — part ghost story, part family saga, part mystery, and all eerie and beautifully written. The results entwine into a book of not-so-easily solved mysteries, enigmas, and a haunting ending that chills while it warms the heart."
Bill C., An Unlikely Story (Plainville, MA)
"A gripping narrative surrounding a camping experience and a trip to a 'murder house,' where Benjamin's world collides with the 'other' world....I was mesmerized by this narrative and the people in it. Peter Rock is a champion of ethereal suspense!"
Linda B., Auntie's Bookstore (Spokane, WA)
About the Author
Peter Rock is the author of nine previous works of fiction, including My Abandonment, which won the Alex Award and was adapted into the film Leave No Trace. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and is a professor of creative writing at Reed College. He lives in Portland with his wife and two daughters.
Peter Rock on PowellsBooks.Blog
Peter Rock’s newest book, Passersthrough, is an unnerving mystery that dissects the way secrets can fester when left in the dark for too long. The book follows a father as he does his best to reconnect with his estranged daughter; at the heart of their disconnect is the mystery behind the week, nearly 25 years prior, she disappeared in Mount Rainier National Park...