Gathering Home

Vicki Covington, Author
Vicki Covington, Author Simon & Schuster $17.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-66055-0
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Eschewing anger, hostility and resentment, Covington writes a thoroughly credible, appealing story of an adopted teenager's coming to terms with her birth and adoptive parents. Whitney Gaines's adoptive father Cal is a liberal-minded minister in Birmingham, Ala., whose particular mission is the Sanctuary movement. Cal and his wife Mary Ellen are modern believers who have adapted their '60s idealism to the demands of the next decades. Always open with Whitney about her adoption, they are encouraging when she tells them she'd like to investigate the circumstances of her birth. Just as Cal decides to run for a Congressional seat the following year, Whitney begins to correspond with Sam, her birth father, a cartoonist who lives with his lover Aaron in New York; her birth mother doesn't answer her letters. During the year of the campaign, Whitney grows close to Cal's campaign manager, Nat; she also writes to Sam's mother Eva, who is overjoyed to discover that she has a grandchild. Finally Whitney invites Sam and Aaron to visit Cal's church in November, before going with them to Selma to meet Eva. In the course of this quiet, compelling story, Whitney finds there is room in her heart for both her families. With Nat she learns that she might experience love as an adult, and from her birth mother she learns she will not be overwhelmed by rejection. Subtle and affirming, Covington's first novel is filled with memorable characters who make ordinary goodness seem both accessi ble and desirable. (September)
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