Waiting for the Apocalypse

A Memoir of Faith and Family

By Veronica Chater
W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393066036, 336pp.

Publication Date: February 2009

List Price: $23.95*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the March 2009 Indie Notables
“Veronica Chater's father, believing that Vatican II has corrupted the Roman Catholic Church, drags his family?six children and a wife?off to Portugal to live near Fatima and find a traditional parish and mass in Latin. Waiting for the Apocalypse is a story of monomania inflicted on loved ones, but Chater speaks of her coming of age with honesty, wit, and grace.”
— Helen Sinoradzki, Annie Bloom's Books, Portland, OR


It is 1972, and Veronica Chater's parents believe that Vatican II's liberalization has corrupted the Catholic Church, inviting the Holy Chastisement an apocalypse prophesied by three shepherds in Fatima, Portugal. To spare his family this horror, Veronica's father quits the highway patrol, sells everything, and moves the family of eight from California to an isolated village near Fatima.

But Portugal is no Catholic utopia, and the family schleps home penniless to join the nascent Catholic counterrevolution: attending the Latin Mass in truck garages and abandoned buildings, serving meals to religious soldiers, breeding a new member of the faithful every year. As Veronica comes of age on the fringes of the American Dream, she rebels against a fanaticism that forbids anything modern clothes, movies, or music. This is the story, both sad and funny, of a family torn apart by religion and brought back together in spite of the injuries it inflicted on itself.

About the Author
Veronica Chater has written for national women's magazines and This American Life. Her stories have also appeared in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the Guardian (London), and various anthologies. She currently lives in Berkeley, California.
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