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Gathering Home, Gathering Home, 0817310029, 0-8173-1002-9, 978-0-8173-1002-8, 9780817310028,

Gathering Home
by Vicki Covington

Quality Paper
1999. 240 pp.
Price:  $19.95 t

Covington's first novel is a quietly compelling coming-of-age story that takes on politics and religion, the Old South and the New South, families, love, and being able to come home again.


Whitney Gaines has always known she was adopted. It's never been a problem--she loves her parents, Mary Ellen and Cal, a liberal minister, and enjoys her life in Birmingham, Alabama. But the year Whitney turns eighteen, Cal decides to run for Congress and the entire Gaines family is thrust into the spotlight. Whitney resolves to look for her birth parents, a decision her liberal-minded adoptive parents support. Although her birth mother doesn't answer her letters, Whitney finds her father, Sam Kirby, a gay cartoonist living in New York, wondering about the child he knows is out there, somewhere. Whitney's letters reawaken Sam's ambivalence about his southern roots.

At the same time, a romance blossoms between Whitney and her father's campaign manager, and Whitney begins writing to Sam's mother, who rejoices in the news that she is, against all odds, a grandmother. The relationships Whitney develops with her newfound natural relatives, particularly with her grandmother, are the centerpiece of this critically acclaimed novel.

Vicki Marsh Covington is the author of four novels, Gathering Home, Bird of Paradise, Night Ride Home, and The Last Hotel for Women. Most recently, she is coauthor of Cleaving: The Story of a Marriage, a memoir written with her husband, writer Dennis Covington. The Covingtons live in Birmingham, Alabama.


"Vicki Covington has the courage to write with tenderness, the wit to keep her characters close to the heart. Gathering Home is . . . full of loveliness and restrained tension. "
—Louise Erdrich

"Subtle and affirming . . . filled with memorable characters who make ordinary goodness seem both accessible and desirable. "
Publisher's Weekly

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Women in a Man's World, Crying
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Almost Family
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Remembered Gate
Edited by Jay Lamar, Jeanie Thompson