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.
"An excellent novel about all that messy pain and accumulating joy we experience in loving other people."Houston Chronicle
The second, intensely engaging novel by the author of Dreams of Sleep again exhibits masterful control of language and narrative drive. In a voice both distinctive and convincing, Lucille Odom, the 17-year-old, precociously perceptive protagonist narrates the story of her family's unravelling and its reconstitution in a different form. It happens in a flash, when Lu's mother leaves home; as her father fails to cope and her older sister returns to Mt. Pleasant, S.C., suddenly married and pregnant, Lu feels she must guide them all out of ``the protected stage of our lives'' and through the perilous emotional terrain they have entered. In luminous prose anchored by precise details, Humphries explores a varied landscape of human relationships, mooring them firmly in the changing Southern milieu she describes. Lu discovers that even in this world gone awry, positive things can happen: she and her father reach a new level of communication and understanding; both parents, separately, achieve a new sense of identity; Lu falls in love for the first time, although she knows nothing good can ensue from it. Even as she is caught in her family's anguish, Lu muses, ``I was rich in love, even though no one could see it.'' This novel is rich too, in insight, humor and wisdom. 35,000 first printing; Literary Guild alternate. (September 21)