The Risk of Returning
by Shirley and Rudy Nelson

Ted Peterson, son of former missionaries to Guatemala, returns to that country to solve the mystery of his father’s disappearance. Caught up in a culture of violence and deadly secrets, what he learns is as much about himself as his father.

“A fantastic book. It perfectly conveys the shifting shadows of the time and place, of knowing and not knowing, of who is a friend and who is not, of realities that come and go, that may or may not be true.” 
–Virginia Garrard-Burnett, author of Terror in the Land of the Holy Spirit: Guatemala Under General Efrain Rios Montt.

 “The real thing, a portrait of a country at war that rings true: murky terror, long silence, intensity, hope.” 
–Dennis Smith, PCUSA Regional Liaison, Brazil and Southern Cone. 

 “A luminous, richly layered and beautifully written story about memory and resistance.”
–Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary. 

“Full of stir and unfolding, the evocations of place–the landscapes and streetscapes and interiors and even the weathers never mere backdrop but an expansion of the paradoxes of beauty and terror.” 
–Eugene Garber, author of O Amazonas Escuro.

“A remarkably haunting novel. I love the characters, especially the narrator, a reluctant and complex guy. With him we sift through dangerous half-truths, decode sleight of hand, and weigh the fidelity of the people around him.” 
–Jeanne Murray Walker, author of Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage through Alzheimer’s

“The Nelsons have written a gripping narrative that explores the tragedy and heroism of existing within Guatemala’s religious communities.” 
–Robert Brenneman, author of Homies and Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America.

“With this story, the authors remind us of the power of literature to combat political and moral amnesia. It deserves a place next to the very finest political novels.” 
–Chris Robinson, Associate Professor of Political Science, Clarkson University; co-host of Readers and Writers, NCPR Book Show.