Synopses & Reviews
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 religion that predicted the world could 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 sects 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 metaphysically haunting, shape-shifting novel that keeps the reader off balance and cant be fully appreciated until its climax." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Expertly imagined, eminently readable, and inarguably haunting." Booklist
Francine and Colville were childhood friends whose families belonged to an extreme religion, the Church Universal and Triumphant, whose members built elaborate underground shelters to protect themselves from a nuclear apocalypse that never came. Reunited twenty years later by the search for an abducted girl, Francine and Colville must reckon with the powerful memories of their former church's teachings, and the haunting feeling of leading adult lives in a world they once believed would be destroyed.
About the Author
Peter Rock is the author of five previous novels, most recently My Abandonment, and a collection of stories, The Unsettling. He teaches writing at Reed College.
Read an exclusive essay by Peter Rock