“It is impossible to read Kaethe’s Schwehn’s extraordinary, uncanny novel without placing yourself in the center of its circumstances. In truth, there’s an eerie plausibility to the events she so masterfully narrates. Because sometimes the world really does wobble on its axis and in an instant all that we know or have is gone. ‘Trauma returns to us in snatches,’ Schwehn writes. But in those snatches and scraps we find the only honest comfort we can ever rightly claim as our own: the stories we call forth from the ruins.”
— Jill Alexander Essbaum, author of Hausfrau, the New York Times bestseller
“Part post-apocalyptic novel and part coming-of-age tale, The Rending and the Nest tells the story of ordinary people struggling to understand extraordinary change. It's poignant and mournful, sexy and wry, and this debut proves that Kaethe Schwehn is a remarkable talent with a vast and wild imagination.”
— Edan Lepucki, author of California and Woman No. 17
“In The Rending and the Nest, Kaethe Schwehn's post-apolcalyptic world seems poised to punish those 5% left behind for lauding materialism over human connection by forcing women to give birth to useless objects, but Schwehn has deeper concerns to explore: the inexplicable bonds of motherhood, the necessity of purpose, and the dangers of seeking meaning from prophets regardless of the human cost. This is a rich and passionate novel of page-turning intensity, an unflinching gaze into our deepest flaws, offering a way forward in the simplest of terms: love, community, humility and trust.”
— Michelle Hoover, author of The Quickening and Bottomland
“The Rending and the Nest is packed with humor and horror and grace—an accomplished and mesmerizing debut. Kaethe Schwehn offers up a magical, unsettling vision of the future, and in doing so joins the company of such literary dazzlers as George Saunders and Margaret Atwood.”
— Benjamin Percy, author of The Dark Net, The Dead Lands, Red Moon, and Thrill Me.
“The Rending and the Nest is one of the most exciting debut novels I've ever read, beautifully illustrating the fragility of parenthood, womanhood, and our very humanity. Surreal and precise, sharp and moving, this novel joins the ranks of other genius post-apocalyptic works like Oryx and Crake and Station Eleven. Read it and marvel.”
— Sharma Shields, author of The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac
"A necessary and luminous story about coming to terms with a ruined world. I was completely taken by these characters, by their heroism and hopes and by their ingenious efforts to build a new life together, despite the dangers surrounding them. Reading The Rending the Nest — a fierce reminder of what might be lost — has caused me to look and look again at the everyday objects of this world, all the small, ordinary rituals that connect families and lovers. That quality of attention makes this an unforgettable novel, dazzling despite its darkness. Schwehn is a brave and brilliant writer."
— René Steinke, author of Friendswood and Holy Skirts