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book cover of Cleaving


The Story of a Marriage
A non fiction book by

"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.


Used availability for Vicki Covington's Cleaving

Hardback Editions

May 1999 : USA Hardback

Title: Cleaving: The Story of a Marriage
Author(s): Dennis Covington, Vicki Covington
ISBN: 0-86547-548-2 / 978-0-86547-548-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: North Point Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

May 2000 : USA Paperback

Title: Cleaving: The Story of a Marriage
Author(s): Dennis Covington, Vicki Covington
ISBN: 0-86547-589-X / 978-0-86547-589-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: North Point Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA