Mooncalves follows the bloody implosion of a cult in Sainte-Pétronille, Quebec, understood through the urgent voices of the living and a ring of ghostly, shape-shifting watchers. Sensing the impending dissolution of society by technological progress, the charismatic, utterly unhinged Joseph Reiser forms “Walden”, a collective of Luddite devotees—most still in their teens. A vicious act of sexual violence shatters the collective, and devotee Erica Strickland barely escapes with her life. Through its tale of buried crime in rural Quebec and the mechanism of cult leadership, Mooncalves explores the unshakable hold of first love, the warped influence of unchecked ambition and sexual obsession, and the uncomfortable gaze of the accumulating dead.
Victoria Hetherington is a Toronto-based author, poet and visual artist, and her work has previously appeared in Joyland, Broken Pencil, The Puritan, This Recording, and The Hart House Review. Mooncalves is her debut novel.