Rift, a Novel

Jens Thorsen's retirement is not what his wife, Lila, was expecting. Rather than tending to things around the house, Thorsen has thrown himself into a life of charity: visiting the sick, the widowed, and the incarcerated. Between these acts of service, Thorsen finds the time to nurse his feud with local clergyman Darrell Bunker. The two have hated each other for as long as anyone in Sanpete, Utah, can remember.

Even though the valley is much too small for the both of them, Thorsen and Bunker have managed a tense ceasefire that allows daily life to carry on. But when Bunker's daughter moves home, there are suddenly too many egos in one place, and Sanpete starts to pull apart at the seams.

Praise for Rift

"What a pleasure to read the work of a writer who understands and can accurately portray the small, out-of-the-way parts of this world where honor, generosity and sheer cussedness are still operative principles. With Rift, Todd Petersen has written a funny and tough-minded account of a place where family, faith and community still come first."
Brady Udall, author of The Lonely Polygamist and The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint
"Todd Petersen is a master at capturing small, authentic human moments....In drawing characters, Petersen is both unflinchingly honest and compassionate; in drawing western landscapes, he's got an eye for original detail. A natural storyteller, a native son, his is a reliable pen when it comes to capturing the true contemporary West in fiction."
Ann Cummins, author of Yellowcake and Red Ant House
"Attention readers of literary fiction: a stunning and richly imagined character has entered our congregation. Jens Thorsen, protagonist of Todd Robert Petersen's striking debut novel, is an aging patriarch and incurable curmudgeon--strong, wise, and ornery. Interestingly flawed and utterly irresistible..."
Aaron Gwyn, author of Wynne's War and The World Beneath