10 books like Rich in Love

By Josephine Humphreys,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Rich in Love. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Sing, Unburied, Sing

By Jesmyn Ward,

Book cover of Sing, Unburied, Sing

This richly-told journey story revolves around 13-year-old Jojo and his family. Jojo lives with his grandparents, Mam and Pop, his baby sister, Kayla, and his emotionally absent and drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on the small family farm. The many trials Jojo faces while caring for his baby sister on a trip with his neglectful, selfish mother to Parchman Prison to retrieve his father propel him toward maturity. At the beginning of the novel Jojo says he doesn’t understand his mother, but by the end he has developed understanding.

Sing, Unburied, Sing

By Jesmyn Ward,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Sing, Unburied, Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018 WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 2017 ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S BEST BOOKS OF 2017 SELECTED AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE NEW STATESMAN, THE FINANCIAL TIMES, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, TIME AND THE BBC Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalist for the Kirkus Prize Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award 'This wrenching new novel by Jesmyn Ward digs deep into the not-buried heart of the American nightmare. A must' Margaret Atwood 'A powerfully…


Peace Like a River

By Leif Enger,

Book cover of Peace Like a River

Years ago, I pulled this novel from the library shelf on a whim, knowing nothing then of its author. Oh, what a powerful book! Reuben’s coming of age pulled me in and never let go. Eleven years old and asthmatic, Reuben idolizes his brother Davy. But after Davy is wanted for murder, Reuben faces the moral dilemma of justice versus loyalty. Initially, Reuben considers the federal agent tasked with finding Davy a “bad guy” and struggles with his father’s cooperation with the agent. But as time goes on, Reuben’s decision to value the agent’s life over his brother’s freedom suggests that growing up involves allowing one's perception of right and wrong to change as evidence is presented. 

Peace Like a River

By Leif Enger,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Peace Like a River as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Israel Finch and Tommy Basca, the town bullies, break into the home of school caretaker Jeremiah Land, wielding a baseball bat and looking for trouble, they find more of it than even they expected. For seventeen-year-old Davey is sitting up in bed waiting for them with a Winchester rifle. His younger brother Reuben has seen their father perform miracles, but Jeremiah now seems as powerless to prevent Davey from being arrested for manslaughter, as he has always been to ease Reuben's daily spungy struggle to breathe. Nor does brave and brilliant nine-year-old Swede, obsessed as she is with the…


Amy and Isabelle

By Elizabeth Strout,

Book cover of Amy and Isabelle

In this exceptional story that I’ve read twice, Elizabeth Strout places a seemingly ordinary, though distant, mother and her shy teenage daughter in the provincial town of Shirley Falls, Maine, to create a stunning awakening in the daughter Amy and foster the admission of a long-hidden secret by Amy’s mother Isabelle. As much as Amy thinks her development is about her sexuality, it is more about forming a relationship with her lonely mother. After Amy learns her mother’s story, she learns her most important moment of identity has not been sexual initiation, but her self-acceptance. The relationship between mother and daughter fosters Amy’s coming of age. 

Amy and Isabelle

By Elizabeth Strout,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Amy and Isabelle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Man Booker Prize longlisted author of My Name is Lucy Barton

Isabelle Goodrow has been living in self-imposed exile with her daughter Amy for 15 years. Shamed by her past and her affair with Amy's father she has submerged herself in the routine of her dead-end job and her unrequited love for her boss. But when Amy, frustrated by her quiet and unemotional mother, embarks on an illicit affair with her maths teacher, the disgrace intensifies the shame Isabelle feels about her own past.

Throughout one long, sweltering summer as the events of the small town ebb and…


Child of My Heart

By Alice McDermott,

Book cover of Child of My Heart

Though I have read and relished all of Alice McDermott’s novels, Child of my Heart is my favorite. Theresa, age 15, is East Hampton’s most sought-after babysitter when her favorite cousin, eight-year-old Daisy, comes to spend the summer in this gorgeous coming-of-age novel. Though Theresa and Daisy share a magical world, Theresa eventually realizes the ongoing bruises on Daisy’s feet and body mean she is seriously ill. While the cousins intuitively conceal Daisy’s condition, Theresa becomes aroused by and wary of her sexual attraction to the father of Flora, a toddler she babysits. Through the haunting presence of death and her dawning sexuality for a much-older man, Theresa crosses into adulthood. 

Child of My Heart

By Alice McDermott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Child of My Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the cusp of fifteen, pretty Theresa is the town's most sought-after babysitter - cheerful, beloved, adored by children and animals, but also a solitary soul with an already complex understanding of human nature. She is Titania among her fairies, the one person to call on for help with a child in extreme distress. Theresa does not doubt her power over the fathers of her adoring charges either, like the elderly artist whose signature and doodles may fetch a fortune, but whose potential lechery Theresa toys with like a kitten with yarn. Yet, during this unforgettable summer, it is her…


Girlhood

By Melissa Febos,

Book cover of Girlhood

Girlhood was published while I was in edits and though I bought the book, I couldn’t risk reading it. The subject matter was too close to my own. What if I wanted to add or (gasp) rewrite? I’m glad I waited. Febos’ stunning essays perfectly encapsulate the confusion of adolescent girlhood, the mixed messages—from adults, from our own bodies—and the traps that lay in wait.My favorite, “The Mirror Test,” contains lines that crackle such as: “Before it carried any sexual connotation, the word slut was a term for a slovenly woman… A slut was a careless girl, hands sunk haphazardly into the dough…—eyes cast out the window, mouth humming a song, always thinking of something else. Oh was I ever a messy child. A real slut in the making.”

Girlhood

By Melissa Febos,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Girlhood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

National Book Critics Circle Award Winner
National Bestseller
Lambda Literary Award Finalist

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME * NPR * The Washington Post * Kirkus Reviews * Washington Independent Review of Books * The Millions * Electric Literature * Ms Magazine * Entropy Magazine * Largehearted Boy * Passerbuys

“Irreverent and original.” –New York Times

“Magisterial.” –The New Yorker

“An intoxicating writer.” –The Atlantic

“A classic!” –Mary Karr

“A true light in the dark.” –Stephanie Danler

“An essential, heartbreaking project.” –Carmen Maria Machado

A gripping set of stories about the forces that shape girls…


The Burning Girls

By C. J. Tudor,

Book cover of The Burning Girls

This book kept me turning the pages well into the night.

The Rev Jack Brooks moves to a new parish for a fresh start with her teenage daughter but they have barely unpacked when strange things begin to happen.

The book is well-paced with clever use of local superstitions which gives the story a supernatural feel. There is a looming threat to the main protagonist which builds the unease till the explosive end.

The Burning Girls

By C. J. Tudor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Burning Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The darkly compelling new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chalk Man, The Taking of Annie Thorne and The Other People, soon to be a major TV series

'Hypnotic and horrifying . . . Without doubt her best yet, The Burning Girls left me sleeping with the lights on' CHRIS WHITAKER, bestselling author of Waterstones Thriller of the Month We Begin at the End

'A gothic, spine-tingling roller-coaster of a story . . . CJ Tudor is a master of horror' C.J. COOKE, author of The Nesting
______

500 years ago: eight martyrs were burnt to death…


The Edwardians

By Vita Sackville-West,

Book cover of The Edwardians

I devoured this modern classic comedy of manners like a good period drama. 

The novel follows the adolescent years of Sebastian, duke and heir of the country house Chevron, where his mother Lucy plots luncheons and indulges parties where alcohol, games, and affairs are the prime guests. The tone is witty and the food, from the ingredients on display to the behaviours of those who eat, is used as a powerful show of appearances.

The Edwardians

By Vita Sackville-West,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Edwardians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An instant bestseller when it was published in 1930, this glittering satire of Edwardian high society features a privileged brother and sister torn between tradition and a chance at an independent life.

Sebastian is young, handsome, moody, and the heir to Chevron, a vast and opulent ducal estate. He feels a deep love for the countryside and for his patrimony, but he loathes the frivolous social world his mother and her shallow friends represent. At one of his mother’s decadent house parties, Sebastian meets two people who shake his sense of self: Leonard Anquetil, a lowborn arctic explorer, who questions…


Bruiser

By Ian Chorao,

Book cover of Bruiser

Bruiser is only nine years old, younger than most “coming of age” protagonists, but his anxiety-ridden family life in a Manhattan apartment has aged him. His father is a philanderer who rarely is home and often physically abusive when he is; his mother is a deeply depressed poet. Bruiser spends most of his time running around his Upper West Side neighborhood with a make-shift gang of older boysand has the bruises to show for it, hence his nicknameor hiding at the bottom of the clothes hamper when his parents are going at it. He befriends a 10-year-old girl, Darla, who lives across the courtyard with her drug-addled mother and who convinces him to run away with her. Their journey, which takes them first to West Virginia in search of Darla’s father and eventually to North Carolina, is the book’s magic. Both kids are pre-puberty, so it’s…

Bruiser

By Ian Chorao,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bruiser as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After spending another morning hiding in the clothes hamper eavesdropping on his miserable parents, Bruiser realizes it's time to change his life. It's New York City during the late 1970s, and in the middle of a chilly autumn night he takes to the open road with Darla, a kindred spirit who lives across the alleyway. Their flight from the mounting tensions of home -- an adventure dotted with frightening episodes and surprising revelations -- is a journey in search of liberation and emotional truth.

This is Bruiser's tale in his own words, captured by first-time novelist Ian Chorao with uncanny…


The Whale Surfaces

By Ruth Rotkowitz,

Book cover of The Whale Surfaces: Prequel to Escaping The Whale

After reading Escaping The Whale, I was eager to meet Marcia Gold as a young girl. Here again, Ruth Rotkowitz does not disappoint. The desires and dreams of Holocaust survivors for their children to have an innocent and happy childhood are not always possible. Marcia, a young girl in the 1960's experiences the impact of her parent's history and the complications they bring to the anxiety of adolescence and the emotional problems that will be part of her life in the future.

The Whale Surfaces

By Ruth Rotkowitz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Whale Surfaces as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What is childhood? Bubbles and snowmen? Picnics and ice cream? Sunshine and laughter? We have been fed a romantic fantasy of the innocence and bliss of childhood. In The Whale Surfaces, author Ruth Rotkowitz holds a microscope to those idealized years in the life of the protagonist she created in her debut novel, Escaping the Whale. This microscope, at times, becomes a sledgehammer.

Marcia Gold is the daughter of Holocaust survivors whose lives have been defined by their painful experiences in Europe. A sensitive child, Marcia has absorbed this history as her own, and the Holocaust looms over her childhood…


Mango Rash

By Nan Sanders Pokerwinski,

Book cover of Mango Rash: Coming of Age in the Land of Frangipani and Fanta

Put on your flowered shirt and place a flower in your hair to be taken away to the beautiful island of Samoa. This page-turning memoir chronicles the author’s struggles with adolescence against the backdrop of a changing Samoan culture. With lyrical language, Ms. Pokerwinski paints true-to-life scenes of the island and the Samoan people. The situations and the fascinating characters will keep you reading. I thoroughly enjoyed reliving memories of the 60s such as the music of the Beach Boys, White Rain Conditioner, and Tangee lipstick. If you witnessed life in the 60s, you will identify with the author and enjoy her humor and sass. 

Mango Rash

By Nan Sanders Pokerwinski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mango Rash as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Moving to a South Pacific island from small town Oklahoma, sixteen year old Nancy Sanders trades cruising Main Street in search of tater tots for strolling sandy shores with islanders who feast on sea worms and summon sharks with song.



With a dash of teenage sass, MANGO RASH chronicles Nancy's search for adventure—and identity—in two alien realms: the tricky terrain of adolescence and the remote U.S. territory of American Samoa. Against a backdrop of lava-rimmed beaches, frangipani-laced air, and sensual music, Nancy immerses herself in 1960s island culture with a colorful cast of Samoan and American expat kids.



But life…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in coming of age, adolescence, and bildungsroman?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about coming of age, adolescence, and bildungsroman.

Coming Of Age Explore 120 books about coming of age
Adolescence Explore 28 books about adolescence
Bildungsroman Explore 220 books about bildungsroman