Reader Reviews

From Barnes and Noble

An exceptionally well-written book with a first-rate plot

Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite


Annie Cleaving’s mother has died, and her young son, Ethan, has been killed in an automobile accident by the drunken youngest son of the town sheriff. Annie is grieving deeply, so she quits her job and sells her family home in Kentucky. She doesn’t want to live in a town where everyone knows her. Boxes packed, ready to go, Annie finds she cannot sell her family home. Half of the house did belong to her Grandmother Lucy, but the other half was willed to Lucy’s eleven surviving children. Annie sets off on a journey to those aunts and uncles, hoping to get each of them to sign off on the deed. And what a journey she has, traveling through Virginia to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, finding out how much her mother Millie meant to each of them. Annie also finds out family secrets such as why she and her mother lived for over two years with hippie Uncle Asher. Annie eventually learns to make peace with what cannot be changed. Do all her aunts and uncles sign off, or does it really matter?


House of Cleaving is an exceptionally well-written book with a first-rate plot, a rarity in these days of self-publishing. All readers will stay with Annie as she journeys to the truth behind her family’s secrets. All characters are well drawn and believable, as the author creates a world where the past is not easy to accept but, nonetheless, quite real. The reader will not forget those pages where Annie’s mother, Millie, finds her true love celebrating with his family instead of meeting with her. House of Cleaving is a book for everyone, and one that won’t be forgotten.


An original story of mystery that twists and turns with all the intracacies of the great American family


The journey is often mysterious, the destination unclear, the motifs unknown, but the ride is well worth it in this outstanding story by Melissa Newman!

From Amazon

More books, please


I can’t wait till Melissa Newman comes out with more books! This along with Sister Blackberry is a must read!

House of Cleaving, a novel by Melissa Newman
Sister Blackberry