The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls: A Novel

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls: A NovelThe 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 YouThe 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 She s never been good to me She s always been different with me. The Butler family Althea, Viola, Lillian and Joe had a rough childhood They ve each managed to escape but not without scars. Althea, powerful and dominating, pulled her younger siblings up and out from squalor and raised them herself She finds herself in the center of a scandal and her world is rocked to the core But it was Althea and Proctor Cochran, people we trusted, who laid waste to the faith and loyalty of this whole town, holding their fund raisers, taking our money, promising to help, but never delivering We want to see justice done Viola, intelligent and damaged, made it through college and now works as a psychologist with her partner, Eva, but their most recent rough patch may be the end for them She s coming into town to help Lillian with Baby Vi and Kim while running from other things But I recall that deadly serious look in Kim s eyessomething dark, something distant, something desperate. Lillian, flustered and terrified, has taken in Althea s twin teenage daughters Baby Vi and Kim She s begging for help but when it is offered, she realizes that she cannot accept It severything s all right, right Everything s normal Anger snaps through me like a whip Nothing s normal Joe, charming and cruel, was once a source of abject terror for Lillian but he s now a pastor and has offered to take in the twins much to Lillian s horror Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone we are cut off. Althea was the backbone of the Butlers and eventually became the center of their little town But now she and her husband Proctor are in jail and the shock ripples through the town.The ripple effect quickly becomes a tsunami and the entire butler family is about to capsize And at the center of the storm Kim and Baby Vi I m worriedIt s been four days It s like she s vapor out there What if she really left town Where to Will the family be able to pull through Or will they scatter into the wind You re not going to find her, she said, her voice cracking, I waited too late First book of the new year and wow It was truly excellent The author just blew me out of the water This book felt so raw and real The characters felt truly alive their emotions and actions were perfectly rendered This was told through three alternating first person perspectives Althea, Viola and Lillian and I never doubted for a minute which character was which They all had such distinct personalities.The sisters really drove every aspect of the book and it was so expertly done that by the end, I really felt like I could have a conversation with them.Also, I loved how the author portrayed real issues bulimia, neglect, addiction without falling into stereotypical behaviors or turning it into a Lifetime movie thank goodness for that.The characters, the world building, the everything it was all amazing.So glad this was the first book of the year Talk about a great start With thanks to Berkley Publishing for a free copy in exchange for an honest reviewYouTube Blog Instagram Twitter Snapchat miranda.reads Happy Reading 4 starsFamilies seem to rally around each other in times of crisis, even dysfunctional ones where the relationships are complicated and where resentments and hurts have burdened them for many years This is such an impressive debut and Anissa Gray doesn t pull any punches here as the Butler siblings come together to care for their teenage nieces whose lives are upended when their parents are imprisoned for embezzling charity money The past relationships of three sisters, Althea, Lillian, Viola and their brother Joe come to the surface through the multiple narratives of the three sisters While their concern is for their two nieces and how best to care for them, the things that happened when they were children are still haunting them and are interfering with their desire to help their nieces Each of them is also facing dilemmas in their present life On top of this, the complexity of the story is compounded by the fact that one of the daughters, Kim actually reported her parents to the police, bringing to light another difficult relationship of a mother and daughter There is a lot going on here which makes it hard to discuss without giving anything away So I ll just say that this is a wonderfully written story It s hard to read at times when you see the emotional toll that the past has taken on these characters that I cared about from the beginning in spite of their flaws, their mistakes They are loving people in spite of it all I couldn t help but hope from the beginning that there would be a way forward for this hurting family, a way to heal, hoping that they could rise to the occasion to save each other and themselves from what is happening now and what is haunting them from the past Looking forward to what this author will do in the future Definitely recommended I received an advanced copy of this book from Berkley through NetGalley. 5 Extremely Emotional Stars.Have you ever been so unprepared for a book that you were completely bowled over by it You start reading and the tears immediately runneth over A part of you recognizes the angst, the fear and the regret The inability to communicate the words that should be said but aren t Yeah for me, that book was The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray There are some families where the dysfunction is so prevalent, so widespread, that it seems almost impossible to unpack such is the case with the Butlers Althea and Proctor did something very illegal embezzlement unfortunately, for them, they got caught Now they have to pay the price with a lengthy jail sentence, leaving Althea s sisters, Viola and Lillian to pick up the pieces Althea has never been an easy woman to deal with She has been hardened by life and has never been able to show affection, not to her sisters, or to her children, Kim and Baby Vi Her idea of parenting is tough love Unfortunately, it has had a major impact on all of them and not in a good way What do you do when you can t trust yourself and the fact of the matter is, the people closest to you don t even know you When you are unable to communicate your thoughts and feelings for fear of opening up old wounds Ask the Butler family Oh wait, you can t They won t talk about it Hence why they are in this predicament Dysfunction runs rampant in this family, such that it slowly tears the Butlers apart The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls is a work of fiction that ripped me in two, time and again That said, through Althea, Proctor, Viola, Lillian, Kim and Baby Vi, you can actually feel what they are going through heartbreak, love, pain and resilience There were times when my stomach was all knotted up, scared and worried and then there were times when my fingers were crossed Each moment I was completely in it, with Viola and Lillian When I realized that this book was Anissa Gray s debut, I was stunned It is a brilliant read to say the least This novel will top my favorites list for 2018 I hope it will appear on yours as well It is stupendous and it evoked emotions in me that I cannot even begin to express Books about dysfunctional families are one of my favorite genres and I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to read and review it A huge thank you to both Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group and to Anissa Gray for an advanced readers copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review I absolutely loved it Published on Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram on 10.21.18.Release date 2.19.19. Althea and Proctor are convicted of fraud They are incarcerated for some illegal business practices They are found guilty of stealing charity money Althea s sisters, Lillian and Viola are dealing with their own drama as well as their younger brother Athea s s younger daughters, Kim and Baby Vi are left without anyone to care for them These girls went through so much They were ravenous hungry Viola and Lillian get together and support their neices The family goes from one of the most respected in the town to utter disgrace The book also centers around Althea s life in prison along with her cell mates and her Bible study group There are also letters written from Proctor, her husband, sent toher from his prison cell This book tore at my heart strings It was so emotional, so much drama This family went through so much, and was so dysfunctional I couldn t believe that I was actually reading a debut novel This was an intense story I had so many different emotions I felt so angry and sad But aren t the most memorable books, the ones, that makes us feel every emotion I thought the ending was so touching and it brought tears to my eyes This is a character driven story All the characters were so well done The one that I felt so sorry for was Kim She went through so much I felt connected with all the characters This book is beautifully written and the prose is beautiful too The genre is literary fiction and contemporary I was surprised how much I loved this one It will surely be a memorable book.I want to thank Edelweiss, Berkley publishing, and Anissa Gray for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Sometimes life can pull a lot out of you Just squeeze you dry And if you don t have a way to get back whatever s good and precious to you, it s like losing your soul An emotional, touching and heartfelt debut from Anissa Gray The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls put us right in the middle of family strife and dysfunction ensnaring our hearts, breaking them and eventually leaving us with a spark of hope for the future When we meet Althea and Joe Proctor they are in jail, for embezzelment of charity funds Heartless scoundrels like these are not the kind of people you would have any pity for Yet, as with most things in life we come to see that it s not all so black white, right and wrong there are shades of gray here It is in these shades of gray that Gray tells the real story of this family How did these people get here, to this point where everything has come tumbling down This is not a happy story It is filled with familial dysfunction, secrets, loss, guilt, depression, eating disorders, crime, abuse, infidelity, and attempted suicide It was definitely hard to read at times but it was also honest and hauntingly written I found myself rooting for these people Willing them to find a way to get it together, to allow love into their hearts and finally find some happiness For just like the characters in this book, isn t that what we are all ravenously hungry for love, acceptance and happiness This is a story that will move you The characters are complex and the story has many layers Anissa Gray does an amazing job of peeling back the layers and letting us peek into the very core of her characters so that we understand who they are and how they ended up where they are She takes the old adage of becoming your parents and turns it on its head, leaving us with hope that negative cycles can be broken Thank you Anissa Gray, Penguin Publishing and Edelweiss for an arc of this book. 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 4 stars A terrifically rendered novel of a family in crisis When Althea and her husband Proctor are arrested, they leave two teeen twin daughters in the care of their Aunt Lillian It is while in jail, and while the rest of this family tries to figure out how to help the girls, that little known secrets come spilling out Secrets of the past, after the death of their own mother, three sisters and one brother cope with being left with a father who had a terrible temper, a minister who was often away Their care mainly in the hands of a young Althea, until their father decided to stay, divide up the family.A story with many layers, and under the layers, many scars Individual ways of dealing with the trauma that even as adults they do not want to face Scars that manifest in different ways, until they threaten to spill over into the next generation Written in a raw, honest manner, a thoroughly believable look at a terribly flawed family, but one that comes together in love to help two young girls While doing this they face and recognize their own silent and not so silent ghosts of the past, and are forced to deal with them A book about second chances, if one can find the strength to take them, and the strength of women to cope and change And mama told me, You girls, us women, we re water Strong stuff A force of nature A source of life Indeed.ARC from Berkeley. Let s get it out there I didn t like this book What does that mean Not a thing It is getting all the stars from everyone else and will probably be a best seller and make fifty eleven million dollars AND I could totally see this happening But without Medea in it I love Medea She knows my heart The story is a family drama One of the sisters is in jail, one is losing her marriage, one has a eating disorder..the kids are messed up It s a hot mess of a life You know like everyone s real life is. Wellnot that bad Medea showed up in my review since she can t be in this book movie I can see why people are loving this book I was bored I kept thinking it would get better and I d see the light I didn t connect with any characters I didn t care what happened to any of them the entire book I had to make myself finish the book I m a total wrong reader Booksource I received a copy of this book from the publisher Please don t hate me Mr Mrs PublisherI ll read the next one better. My reviews can also be seen at StarsWith such an awesome title and cover I was immediately interested in getting my hands on this novel The description was intriguing 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 We first meet Althea Althea is telling us what jail is like She says it s a place where you definitely do a lot of thinking She lives in a cell that is the size of her walk in closet at home Althea often compares what she s done to other inmate s crimes so she can say at least I didn t do THAT The Chaplain tells her that no good can come from comparing The Chaplain also said her crime does not have to define who she is.Who am I Althea never thought she d leave her home in New River Junction She had made promises that kept her there But she s been moving further away since that fateful day two years earlier The day the police came At first Althea and her husband, Proctor thought the men were there for lunch But they were there as cops, not customers I don t know how to say this, but look, we gotta take Y all in They didn t know that day had started with a phone call that would change everything The caller was someone no one would have ever expected especially Althea.NOW Althea and Proctor await their fate.Althea isn t the only one wondering who she is Other members of the family wonder the same about themselves.When Lillian moved home years earlier she would never have guessed she d end up where she is now She wishes that her sister, Viola would step in to help out with the girls Lillian is trying her best but feels she s getting it wrong Plus she s found this has brought up things from the past, things that she and some of the other members of the family would prefer to forget Will she be able to confront the past Viola lives in Chicago but has come back to help out with Kim and Baby Vi But Viola is also struggling She is trying to deal with everything going on in the family as well as her own health and well being.The Butler family has had their struggles but over the years became one of the most respected families in town But nothing prepares the family for the night Althea and Proctor are arrested And just when they think things can t get any worse They do Will the family get it together enough to help not just Althea s children but themselves too I enjoyed this story However, I did have a hard time getting into it at first It felt like there were a lot of characters and I was finding it difficult keeping everyone straight However, I am glad that I stuck with it as I really found my groove around the halfway mark.The story is told with the sister s alternating points of view and includes letters Althea and Proctor write each other while in jail We learn a lot about this family and their struggles I thought the author did a good job of bringing many issues to light The story shows what can happen when anger and jealousy take over We see the very different ways in which the characters upbringing and early experiences helped define them and stayed with them throughout their lives.Overall, I thought this was a good debut novel An interesting story about longing, hunger the many kinds , secrets, guilt, family, loyalty, and much .I m excited to see what Anissa Gray writes next.I d like to thank Berkley Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel. ReadWithMC review round up need to stop being shocked when debuts are as good as this but ohhhh, man, this is one seriously impressive debut there have been a lot of comparisons made between this book and The Mothers, which i 100% seeagree, but The Turner House is another touchpoint worth mentioning, not only because they are both debut problem novels featuring contemporary african american families whose problems are both social racial and familial, but also because of the symbolic importance of the physical home in both the childhood home preserved, changed, revisited in adulthood, its place in memory, as silent witness keeper of secrets, etc however, this one plays a little rougher than The Turner House, and the long arc road of the butler family s fracturing and coming back together and of its individual members fracturing and coming back to themselves leans a shade into the realm of tragedy than The Turner House ever ventures the book opens in a prison, where althea and proctor small business owners, community leaders, parents of teenaged twin daughters an all around well respected couple, have been convicted of numerous white collar crimes, causing a series of small chaos ripples to shake the family tree, creating new problems and awakening others long buried the novel s first person POV is passed between althea and her two younger sisters lillian and viola you would think that althea s rags to riches to rags tale of having been a teenager raising three younger siblings after parental death and abandonment to becoming a successful restaurateur to ending up in the clink would be the big draw, but of the three characters, hers was the least interesting to me how viola and lillian cope with the sudden responsibility of althea s daughters one of whom has become worryingly unruly , with stepping up out from under althea s shadow, with family secrets old and new, with disappointments, betrayals, abuse, with the shame and scrutiny of being connected to a big scandal in a small town all of that is so much richer in meaty drama than althea s self reflective prisoner s solitude she s certainly not boring, but to me she s the least sympathetic character which has nothing to do with her crimes , whereas viola s bulimia and tenderly fragile relationship with her currently estranged wife and lillian s okay, basically everything about lillian, is so damn vivid and affecting viola s an easy sell a badass, successful lesbian who projects confidence but is also dealing or not dealing with her own destructive compulsions lillian s psychology is even complex it s an emotional web made of duty and suffering the baby of the family stepping up to be punished for the sins of a family she s whatever the word is that s halfway between martyrdom and endurance that doesn t make you want to roll your eyes it s perfection.it is a fantastic debut and a great addition to the Great American Family Drama category and i mean, really, that cover swoon city come to my blog

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  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls: A Novel
  • Anissa Gray
  • 06 June 2017
  • 9781984802446