Conde Nast

Conde Nast
Conde Nast by Susan Ronald

The Turn of the Key

The Turn of the Key
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Mothers meets An American Marriage in this dazzling debut novel about mothers and daughters, identity and family, and how the relationships that sustain you can also be the ones that consume you.

The Butler family has had their share of trials—as sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian can attest—but nothing prepared them for the literal trial that will upend their lives.

Althea, the eldest sister and substitute matriarch, is a force to be reckoned with and her younger sisters have alternately appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband Proctor are arrested, and in a heartbeat the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. The worst part is, not even her sisters are sure exactly what happened.

As Althea awaits her fate, Lillian and Viola must come together in the house they grew up in to care for their sister’s teenage daughters. What unfolds is a stunning portrait of the heart and core of an American family in a story that is as page-turning as it is important.
 

LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:





MY REVIEW:


The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry GirlsThe Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray is a 2019 Berkley publication.

Even healthy and happy families are complicated and complex. This is especially true with mother and daughter relationships, and the connections between sisters. In this novel, Gray examines the darker aspects of the relationship between three sisters as they struggle to make peace with a turbulent past.

The reader must watch as they slowly, and often painfully, accept a new set of equally challenging circumstances, and learn to cope with personal demons, while trying to do what is best for the next generation.

Althea helped to raise her younger siblings, often taking the brunt of their abusive father’s righteous wrath. Now, as adults, Althea and her husband, Procter, are facing prison time, which means their twin daughters, Kim and Baby Vi, are staying with Althea’s sister, Lillian.

Lillian, a widow, who is already taking care of her aging former mother-in-law, is at a loss about how to deal Kim’s problems. Lillian is haunted by her own experience with abuse, while Viola, on a break from her long-term girlfriend, is struggling to keep her eating disorder at bay.

This novel is a poignant, yet powerful debut novel. The story alternates between the first- person narrative of the three sisters, as they each share their own journey from the past to the present.

This technique is especially effective here, as the reader can see the same set of events from different perspectives. Each sister endured a traumatic childhood, and is coping in her own individual way, while harboring unique memories, fears, and resentments.

However, Lillian and Viola rise to the occasion when they become responsible for their nieces, while Althea must take responsibility for her actions, and accept the reality of her own proclivities and shortcomings.

The future offers hope, as they all begin the journey towards forgiveness, acceptance, and healing, not only as individuals, but as strong women, mothers, daughters, sisters and family.

Even though the story lags in a few spots, it is realistic, raw, and unflinchingly emotional, but above all, hopeful. I know I will think of these characters often and wish them well.

A very solid and personal debut novel!

GRAB YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Care-Feeding-Ravenously-Hungry-Girls-ebook/dp/B07D6C9L49/

https://www.amazon.com/Care-Feeding-Ravenously-Hungry-Girls/dp/B07M95HXD9/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-care-and-feeding-of-ravenously-hungry-girls-anissa-gray/1128751043


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Anissa Gray was born and raised in western Michigan, where her father pastored a Pentecostal church and her mother was a homemaker. She graduated from Western Michigan University and received her Masters in English from New York University. After graduate school, Anissa went on to work as a print reporter at Reuters in Manhattan, covering global financial news. That was followed by a move to Atlanta and the initiation of her career in broadcast journalism at CNN, where she has held roles as writer, editor, and producer, receiving Emmy and duPont awards for contributions to the network’s coverage of major stories.

After more than 20 years as a journalist, Anissa, a lifelong book lover and voracious reader, pursued fiction writing, applying her love of storytelling from the realm of real-life, newsworthy happenings to the events and encounters that shape our lives. Her first novel, The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls, will be published in 2019.

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