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Rich in Love

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  540 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
At the age of seventeen, Lucille Odom finds herself in the middle of an unexpected domestic crisis. As she helps guide her family through its discontent, Lucille discovers in herself a woman rich in wisdom, rich in humor, and rich in love.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Penguin Books (first published September 4th 1988)
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It's been a while since I read this, but I remember really liking it, and have kept a copy on my personal real life bookshelf ever since it came out. I have a fondness for local authors and books about the but don't uniformly sing all their praises. However Josephine Humphreys deserves my praise and even more. She's a local writer, with roots deep in the lowcountry. She was a bit ahead of me at my high school (Ashley Hall).

This was made into a movie (which I never did see) but have been told th
i did not expect this novel to become an instant-favorite. but it was honestly amazing. i loved lucille's narrative voice. it was a quick, easy read but i still found the writing style to be really nuanced. and just so many little gems throughout, like on every page there would be a passage that stands out. actually just the first and last paragraphs of every chapter are enough to go on about for ages. and in some semi-meta way, it's about language and narratives and exactly what i want from a n ...more
Laura McGregor
Jan 21, 2016 Laura McGregor rated it it was amazing
A favorite book, a favorite author - a book I read more than once, which is a rarity for me
Denise K.
Mar 22, 2017 Denise K. rated it really liked it
After befriending Josephine Humphreys, I checked this novel out at the public library and devoured it fairly quickly. Loved the character of Lucille - I have a lot in common with her, actually. And I appreciated her observations about the world. There was an unexpected twist at the end that I wasn't so wild about, but overall this novel was thought-provoking. More literary truth than a plot that kept me turning pages. Isn't that often the truth, though, with books we consider to be literature?
May 24, 2014 Jessie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Rich in Love", by Josephine Humphreys is a book about 17 year old Lucille Odom. When Lucille comes home one evening, she finds a note addressed to her father. Her mother has left and decided to start a new life. Nobody knows where Mrs. Odom is, so everyday, Lucille takes her father to look for her. Lucille's older sister Rae comes home to help with their upset father, but she brings with her, her new husband Billy. The story follows all the ups and downs of being a teenager with your life turne ...more
Jun 14, 2011 Meghan rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Meghan by: Jenny Pyke
Shelves: american
Gorgeous, just gorgeous. Jenny Pyke recommended it to me as a quick read that was modern yet very George Eliot-y and I can see why she loves it. The title made me think it might be cheesy but it wasn't at all. It was the coming-of-age story of a teenage girl and her family life that seems to be falling apart, but even that makes it sound superficial and it wasn't. It was about people and impressions of people and psychology and deep feeling and deep vision. (George Eliot fans will not be disappo ...more
"Rich in Love" by Josephine Humphreys is full of beautiful writing and profound observations. This book was highly recommended to me and I expected to be dazzled. Unfortunately, I didn't find the main character, Lucille Odom, to be very likable. Our time together felt like getting cornered at a party by someone who has a lot of opinions and very little awareness of social cues on graciously releasing a captive audience. Oh well -- it was my choice to finish reading it, right?

A two-star rating m
Jun 19, 2013 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Jan Weissmiller at Prairie Lights Bookstore (independent book store) told it was really well written and a good story. I was looking for a book to take on my trip to Europe a few weeks ago. I loved reading it. It always took me somewhere... I found myself going so deeply into Josephine Humphrey's words....I love how she tells the story of love. So many kinds of love in this world. I favor memoirs by women and this one reads like a great memoir as it is told in first person. This book is for peop ...more
Kim (magicsandwiches) Lawyer
Though the title would have you believe otherwise, this is not a love story. It's one of those penguin books one sometimes feels compelled to pull off the shelf and read and let me tell you! Yes, it was a meaningful and insightful book with moments of humor and startling truths, but hoo boy, talk about depressing. The first half was good enough to inspire me to put the film adaptation in my Netflix queue, the last half moved me to delete it with vigor. Gorgeous writing, astounding narrative, hor ...more
Stephanie Williams
Dec 27, 2007 Stephanie Williams rated it really liked it
I'd heard the buzz a few years ago about this book, but missed it and the movie that was based on it. However, I've amended that now and am happy to say that I sincerely enjoyed this book. I really liked Lucille and I loved the flow of the action and the character development. The book wasn't about the "Charleston setting" as so many writers seem to fall back on -- it was about love and family and growing up and sense of self. It was great! I highly recommend it.
Feb 15, 2009 Andrea rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
I really liked this book a lot. It was yet another one I pulled from a pile of books I got about 7 years ago. I recall pulling it of the remainders shelf at the New England Mobile Book Fair (a great place if you've never been). Usually I like books with high levels of character development, so I was a little disappointed that the author didn't expand more of the second characters. I will be looking for more Humphreys books to read.
Aug 17, 2014 Lizzie marked it as to-read
One reviewer compares this to George Eliot which is enough to tip the balance for me!
Still combing through the 500 Great Books By Women book list, which got set up as a Goodreads group, and tracking the demographics via spreadsheet (and so can yoouuu).
Jun 10, 2013 Kara rated it it was ok
I love descriptive novels. (And this one was recommended by a favorite author, Dorothea Benton Frank.) Like it when the author paints a picture and describes sounds and smells. I enjoy reading books based around the beach in SC. If I rated this book on those things, it would have been 5 stars. However, the story line was strange and difficult to follow somehow. The writing was great and the story was just ok.
Dec 12, 2016 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing Characters!

This book is so far removed from what I typically read, and had I not actually met the author in person recently, my eyes would never have landed on these pages, which makes me wonder what else I could be missing. The characters were so alive, and the storyline so thought provoking that I found myself trying to stretch the final chapter, not wanting the story to end. That is EXACTLY what a good book does to its reader. Highly recommend.
Angelique fernandez
Mar 09, 2010 Angelique fernandez rated it really liked it
I really really like this book. It's funny, insightful, witty, sly. The proceeding pages/chapters were promising and transcending. However, I got disappointed and confused by the end of this book. The plot became obnoxiously twisted,somehow irrelevant and too shallow. It came to a point where I no longer wanted to finish reading it. Simply put, the end did not justify the means.
Jan 07, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a really beautifully written book. I bought it when the author came to speak at my college and didn't read it for several years - but I was mad at myself for waiting so long when I did! The story of Lucille is sort of a classic coming-of-age tale but is also a meditation on loving, especially loving our families and the messy joy that entails.
Aug 31, 2009 Emily rated it liked it
At times I thought the narrative interesting but at other times I caught myself skipping paragraphs when Louise got to rambling. I can’t get over the mother just disappearing and especially thinking Louise wouldn’t be traumatized by it. I thought it was sad that no one really helped Rae, who was obviously having issues. At least the story ended on a decent note.
Aug 03, 2007 Susanna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
i love poignant, light-hearted stories that take place in the south. but i also love those that depict the delightful and often complicated nature of southern families.

i suppose i would also recommend the film of this book. one of ethan hawke's first. hee hee.
Jan 27, 2008 Allison rated it really liked it
Wonderful read by another great Southern author. She spoke at Wofford, which Shawna and I attended. She is a wonderful author to see speak....if you get a chance...GO!
Book has so many meanings....I have read it twice...and still learning about the book.
Jun 18, 2016 Teresa rated it really liked it
I liked this book even though my daughter told me not to trust the main character. She thought she was a horrible person but I didn't see her that way...troubled and young and making mistakes,yes, but I didn't think she was as bad as Olivia thought she was.
Laurel Deloria
TOld through a teenagers eyes this gets a little deep.
At the age of seventeen, Lucille Odom finds herself in the middle of an unexpected domestic crisis. As she helps guide her family through its discontent, Lucille discovers in herself a woman rich in wisdom, rich in humor, and rich in love.
Jan 09, 2016 Aivilo rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
F Clark
One blurb on the paperback cover compares the protagonist in Rich in Love to Holden Caulfield. That comparison may be apt. There's a wee plausibility issue, but for the most part the characters are believable and realistic. Recommended.
Martha Kahn
Feb 15, 2016 Martha Kahn rated it really liked it
Sad but very well written.
Jazmin Bacilio
Mar 29, 2016 Jazmin Bacilio rated it really liked it
I really enjoy this book and want to get my own copy of it.
Apr 11, 2010 Mom rated it really liked it
Good book. Nice insight into family and relationships. I loved the little narrator. Sweet, feisty, confused and stubbornly loyal.
Jun 18, 2008 Lizzy rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit, own-it
I saw the movie first. It's still in my top 20 favorite movies. A sweet story about growing up.
Jul 23, 2011 Marty rated it really liked it
Pretty good...Well written...You really get close to the characters in this one.
Mar 29, 2011 Sistahray rated it it was amazing
There's a line in here about "humping your eyeballs out" when you're young...that's great stuff! I've read this book many times, and it's one of the few that moves with me when I do.
Book group notes say I have read. Should re read
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Josephine Humphreys (born February 2, 1945) is an American novelist.

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“You know a relationship has deteriorated past the point of salvage when one person detests another's gestures.” 76 likes
“People Should not be protected from the world.. -It cripples them.” 19 likes
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