The Shelter Cycle

Peter Rock. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23 (224p) ISBN 978-0-547-85908-8
Rock (My Abandonment) further demonstrates his literary finesse with this intense novel about two people who grew up with a spiritual clan bracing for the apocalypse. The story’s premise is all the more eerie for being based on the real Church Universal and Triumphant, which in the late 1980s urged its members to build underground shelters in preparation for a Soviet missile strike. Rock’s engrossing narrative follows former Church member Francine, who finds herself unmoored when childhood friend Colville Young, also a former Church member, resurfaces in Boise, Idaho. A young girl has gone missing and Francine, very pregnant, and her husband Wells join in the search. Wells is suspicious of Colville, and the quick rekindling of Francine and Colville’s relationship gives the story an unnerving air. Prefacing some chapters are Francine’s written memoirs of the Church, her actions, and those of other members, including Colville, dictated by a hovering spirit called the Messenger. Wells finds these pages, which only exacerbate his anxiety once Francine, near her due date, vanishes, intent on revisiting the shelter where she’d spent her youth. Steeped in foreboding grimness, the real beauty in Rock’s narrative lies not in the carefully revealed secrets, but in the curious humanity within each of them. Agent: Jim Rutman, Sterling Lord Literistitc. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/2013
Release date: 04/02/2013
Show other formats
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-90296-1
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-547-85911-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-4708-4325-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4708-4326-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-4708-4323-6
Book - 978-1-4708-4327-4
Paperback - 214 pages - 978-0-544-28963-5
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.