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Discussion Guide - The Shelter Cycle by Peter Rock

Discussion Guide - The Shelter Cycle by Peter Rock

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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.
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.

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Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Mar 28, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/29/2013

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 The Shelter Cycle
A NovelPeter Rock ISBN 978-0-547-85908-8www.peterrockproject.com 
Introduction
Hailed for his gripping storytelling, award-winningnovelist Peter Rock creates twists of fate that speak to our most essential questions about risk and trust,fear and hope.Inspired by true events,
The Shelter Cycle
tells thestory of two children, Francine and Colville, whogrew up in the Church Universal and Triumphant, a religion that predicted the worldcould end in the late 1980s. The C
hurch’s members
built an elaborate network of underground shelters to withstand an impending Soviet missile strike. When the prophesized apocalypse did not occur, the
sect’s
children were forced to enter a worldthey had been taught to reject. When Francine and Colville are reunited twenty years later while searching for an abducte
d girl, they confront the Church’s misguided teachings,
which suddenly feel all too true.
We hope that the following discussion topics will enhance your reading group’s
experience of this haunting tale.
Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. Discuss the
novel’s title. Though it refers to a phase in the work of 
the Church, howdoes it apply to
the characters’
lives? Where do Francine and Colville find shelter 
 — 
emotional as well as physical?2. What beliefs from your youth did you abandon as an adult? Francine and Colville areable to confront their conflicted memories by visiting well-preserved sites from their past.Which locales from your youth do you revisit?3. Was it right for Wells to read
Francine’s
manuscript? What did it reveal about hiswife
’s vulnerabilities
, as well as her sources of strength? How were you affected by Peter 
Rock’s
use of two narrators?4. Were any aspects of the Messenger and her message appealing to you? Which of her teachings were destructive? Do her beliefs, especially regarding the spirit world and theAscended Masters, overlap with those of mainstream religions?5. How did your impressions of Colville shift throughout the novel?

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