House of Cleaving

House of Cleaving, a novel by Melissa Newman


Annie Cleaving watched her young son take his last breath trapped inside the mangled wreckage of her car.

The drunk driver walked away without a scratch. A year later breast cancer took Annie’s mother, a tender and genteel woman.

As a means to escape painful memories Annie attempts to sell the old Cleaving house, leaving the only home she has ever known.

Only then she discovers the botched deed and her only choice, to find her mother’s siblings and convince each to release their claims.

From crazy Aunt Veda, who thinks a televangelist is sending her secret love messages, to Uncle Asher who has given up his Wall Street career and joined a hippie commune, Annie is thrust into a bizarre new world where it seems the Cleaving family history has been altered.

Her journey reveals the many secrets woven throughout the Cleaving family, including a murder, involve her mother.


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Author-signed copies of Sister Blackberry and House of Cleaving can be purchased at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, Kentucky. If you cannot go to this location, please e-mail and request an author-signed copy.


A Note to Readers

Just a Short Hiatus ... More Novels to Come

While Growing Up Wilder was my last novel, it will certainly not be my final. I have two outlines just dying to escape from my desk drawer and I often have to apologetically shove them back in when I find they have made it to the surface time and again.

I am currently working toward completing my doctorate degree (I am all but dissertation, folks!) and I am tangled up in research that uses storytelling and social media as a way to increase hope levels for individuals and entire communities.

This research is allowing me to focus on solving a problem within Kentucky's Appalachia - negative stereotypes.

Readers, please be patient. I will return to fiction shortly. Until then, please continue to share Sister Blackberry, House of Cleaving and Growing Up Wilder with your friends and family.

As always, I welcome your notes and messages.