Visiting the Sins
by Melanie Denman
Set in the Bible Belt of Deep East Texas, Visiting the Sins is a darkly funny story about mothers and daughters, naked ambition, elusive redemption, and all the torment it’s possible to inflict in the name of family.
Down through the decades, the lofty social aspirations of the feisty but perennially dissatisfied Wheeler women — Pokey, the love-starved, pistol-packing matriarch; Rebanelle, the frosty former beauty queen turned church organist; and Curtis Jean, the backsliding gospel singer — are exceeded only by their unfortunate taste in men and a seemingly boundless capacity for holding grudges. A legacy of feuding and scandal lurches from one generation to the next with tragic consequences that threaten to destroy everything the Wheeler women have sacrificed their souls to build.
I am an independent reviewer and it is my pleasure to read and review Visiting the Sins by Melanie Denman. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
What an incredible undertaking in writing Visiting the Sins must have been for Melanie Denman. I know it was an extraordinary feat to read and review it. It elicited an number of emotions from hilarity to sadness and more than a bit of nostalgia and the feeling that at times she was writing something about my life.
Visiting the Sins takes us into the turmoil of one Texas family from the standpoint of four women, from one generation to the next and from the POV of young woman, adult, and elder and how their actions affect the family and each other. It is a close look at motherhood and how actions have consequences.
I spent a great amount of the early parts of the book laughing out loud and regaling my husband with the passages that were tickling my funny bone. Ms. Denman created a family filled with characters that were humorous and I could relate to personally. From Pokey, to Mama, to Curtis Jean, I could find myself somewhere in each of them and some of their peculiarities.
Visiting the Sins is a great book to read, but somewhat slow toward the end. I guess Pokey was my favorite of the bunch and thus as she slowed down due to age, so did the book. Her escapades are the stuff of legends!
I still recommend you take the time to read it, find the humor in it and I commend Ms. Denman for her writing. I am looking forward to her next great publication.
I give Visit the Sins by Melanie Denman four steaming hot cups of Room With Books coffee.
Melanie Denman is a native of Nacogdoches, Texas and a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University. An eighth-generation Texan, and a former banker and cattle rancher, she currently lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is working on a second novel.