Visiting the Sins by Melanie Denman

In her riotous debut novel, Melanie Denman probes the silent sacrifices of motherhood with unflinching honesty and warmhearted amusement. 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.

Visiting the Sins is old-fashioned Southern storytelling at its hilarious, heartbreaking, poetic best. --Frank Mills If the Devil Had a Wife

Visiting the Sins' is Melanie Denman's debut novel, an uproarious series of vignettes about the Wheeler family, a small-town clan dominated by strong willed women with sharp tongues and an unfortunate habit of marrying weak men. --Gary B. Borders - A Hanging in Nacogdoches

Melanie Denman comes from a long and celebrated tradition of southern writers combining pathos and humor with glorious results. Her characters-the women in particular-are marvelous: irreverent, scandalous and unapologetically themselves. Her language is as fresh and original as they are, and she uses a wonderfully unconventional structure to create this multi-generational family saga... has you laughing and crying, sometimes within the very same scene... --Malena Watrous - If You Follow Me

Few can depict rural East Texans or rural Southerners, for that matter with such accuracy and sensitivity as Melanie Denman did in Visiting the Sins. Or with such heartbreaking realism... She plumbs the depths of their personalities with warm-hearted humor for their human comedy, and with wisdom and understanding for the flaws that go with mankind s eternal condition. ... --F.E. Abernethy- Let the River Run Wild: Saving the Neches

"...strong relationships between the characters and the history of the old town... As the characters age through the story you can actually follow their thought process-thanks to the way Denman develops them and portrays their relationships." --Robert C. Nuzum -- Old Spanish Trail Treasure