Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication, Quotes

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword

Pat Conroy

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pp. ix-xii

The Sheltering is at once haunting and an act of pure grace. What you notice first when you come to Mark Powell’s fourth novel is his remarkable gift for language, the bleeding edges around his dialogue, the starch and vigor of his sense of place, the sharp delineation of his characters, and a stylishness all his own. He is that...

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PART ONE

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pp. 1-46

He listened as the Reaper circled nine thousand feet above the valley floor, green eye fixed on what appeared first as a rectangle of white light but looking closer—and Luther Redding had been looking closer for three days now—revealed itself as a squat aluminum-sided building, a worn Chevy Bronco...

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PART TWO

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pp. 47-68

The child died in a sunlit market. The child died in a Vegas ring. Still, the years came and went. Wars and rumors of war. A decade of erosion that ended with morning. Maybe half past four and a taste in Bobby’s mouth like dryer lint. He heard the dogs outside, nails scratching the porchboards, and///

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PART THREE

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pp. 69-114

Around the time Alan was trudging through “Judgment Swamp” and embracing the thisness of his life, Lucy Redding’s father caught her masturbating. Actually, not caught. Walked in on her. In truth, she doubted he’d seen a thing. He was like that these days. Zombie-dad, Lucy’s sister Katie called him...

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PART FOUR

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pp. 115-138

The dogs were all right. The beagles had dragged a small rabbit onto the porch and now the bones were clean and broken. A tiny thing with giant feet. Gray pelt. The shriveled heart intact, purple and dangling. Bobby fed them and shooed them into the yard and went inside and showered. He couldn’t remember...

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PART FIVE

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pp. 139-166

Katie walked first on the sidewalk and, when she met Pennsylvania, down the center of the road. Without realizing it, or not exactly realizing it, she was retracing the path they’d walked twice that day, back and forth to the church. It was night now and rain fell softly through the trees except it wasn’t rain...

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PART SIX

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pp. 167-198

It started raining just south of Gainesville and it was the lashing that woke Bobby from a dream of his parents. He was maybe five and they were at the city park on a Sunday afternoon in early fall. Halfway up the sliding board ladder when a swarm of yellow jackets lifted out of the grass and...

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PART SEVEN

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pp. 199-224

Tomorrow was the funeral but now , today—this day that the Lord hath made—they were all in the kitchen. In the kitchen as if we never left, Lucy thought, or left only so that we might reassemble and take leave, for the truth was that for two days they had done nothing but come and go, entering seemingly...

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PART EIGHT

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pp. 225-264

They took I-10 through Houston and on toward San Antonio, nobody talking. The child was dead and for five hundred miles Bobby squinted down the white line and thought of the awful clatter, the code team, the pounding on his frail chest. He’d called Nancy that morning from New Orleans and...

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PART NINE

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pp. 265-296

Lucy’s dreams felt more like possibilities than lives she had lived. It swallowed the funeral and everything that followed: the realness of her inner life outstripping reality, as if sleep—and she slept so well now, God, how deeply she could sink—had woken some long dormant section of her brain. She...

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PART TEN

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pp. 297-304

Not a cop. A goddamn abusive rent-a-cop, Donny told Bobby. A rabble-rousing woman-abusing narc son of a bitch. The real cop came that afternoon, a deputy that pulled beneath the island at a gas station in southern Utah. The whole thing unfolded in a series of regrettable missteps: their noticing him...

About the Author

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p. 305