"Marriage is like a rain forest," Vicki Covington writes in Cleaving. "The story of a marriage contains all that grows in the canopy, all that is visible from an aerial, or public, view. The understory of a marriage is the place where . . . we struggle, fight, and conceive. It's the place where compost is made, where anything can grow, including forgiveness." Told in the authors' alternating voices, Cleaving is both the story and the understory of a marriage.Childhood acquaintances, Vicki and Dennis meet again in their twenties and wed. they "promise each other nothing" and get more than they'd bargained for: alcoholism, infidelity, infertility, uncertainty. tumult gives way to sobriety, parenthood, and meaningful work, but a yearning remains. In a quest to root themselves in the larger world, they embark on a mission to dig water wells in Central America, assuaging a spiritual thirst by addressing a practical need. Yet even this is part of the story-the visible, overarching canopy-of the marriage. The understory-and the triumph of this haunting book, which is neither sentimental nor cynical-is its portrayal of the eddying of passion through the institution that enshrines but cannot contain it.A soulful and unsparing portrait of the forces that threaten-and sustain-a relationship over time.
Buy Cleaving book by Dennis Covington from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
Format: Paperback / softback
(200mm x 129mm x 16mm)
North Point Press
Publisher: North Point Press
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Author Biography - Dennis Covington
Dennis Covington is a journalist and the author of Salvation on Sand Mountain, a 1995 National Book Award finalist. Vicki Covington is the author of four novels, including The Last Hotel for Women. They live in Birmingham, Alabama.