Selected as a New York Times "Notable Book of the Year," Duck and Cover is a "wicked black comedy" of a family who fights their wars "on the home front." As one of the MacKenzie children says, "The way nuclear families are put together, it just makes sense they would explode." 

In this "bittersweet and utterly beguiling novel," (Publisher's Weekly) each of the MacKenzie family tells their stories in nine, wildly opposed points of view. Starting at a family reunion, three generations of the MacKenzies face off against each other. They discover that terrorism is as intimate as one’s own family. 

“My family has practiced the end of the world more than most,” begins this novel. From the CIA mother to the diplomat father, the fighter jet brother to the trauma nurse and psychologist sisters; from political to heated religious battles; from hurricanes to love affairs to End Times raptures -- the high-voltage MacKenzies are always breaking up and coming back together again. Like all families.

The Los Angeles Times praises Peterson as “a hauntingly funny writer . . . the balance she strikes is almost hypnotic.”

Always in motion, meeting one another clandestinely and cross-country, the MacKenzies mirror the growing up of generations raised to duck and cover – against both a nuclear age and family. An eerily prescient novel, Duck and Cover is a timeless story of family bonds and discovering that “our only civil defense is ourselves.”

Praise for Duck and Cover

“Peterson would seem to hold out just about as much hope for the family as she does the planet,” concludes The New York Times.

“The eccentric MacKenzies are a triumph of warmth, problems, complexity, and their concerns are so truly of our time . . . delightful and absorbing.”’ 
—Diane Johnson, author Le Divorce

From the highly acclaimed author of I Want To Be Left Behind: Finding Rapture Here on Earth, which The Christian Science Monitor named as a “Best Top Ten Non-Fiction Book of the Year.”