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The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  16,569 ratings  ·  2,222 reviews
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.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 19th 2019 by Berkley
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Elizabeth Yes, in the sense that the teenager on the verge of it is going to therapy and the aunt who suffers from it and worked as a therapist with girls suffe…moreYes, in the sense that the teenager on the verge of it is going to therapy and the aunt who suffers from it and worked as a therapist with girls suffering from it is no longer working at the end but writing a book and taking care of herself.(less)

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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  16,569 ratings  ·  2,222 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing

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 loya
Susanne  Strong
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 im
Angela M
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
4+ stars

Families 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
Mary Beth
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 resp
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
"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,
looking for great books to read during black history month...and the other eleven months? i'm going to float some of my favorites throughout the month, and i hope they will find new readers!

#ReadWithMC review round-up:

i 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% see&agree, but The Turner House i
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
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
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 c
Diane S ☔
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
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. Th ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2019-releases
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

3.5 Stars

With 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
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars rounded up ⭐

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls follows a family dealing with the fallout after a sister/mother and her husband are convicted and subsequently sent to prison for stealing money from a charity they created.

In no time at all I felt a kinship with these characters because I have dealt with similar circumstances within my own family. My mother was imprisoned when I was 13 years old which provides me with a different point of view than most readers of this book.
Larry H
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars here.

First of all, how cool is the title of this book?

This powerful, poignant debut novel examines how easy family ties can go from comforting to smothering, and how the scars of youth can still prove damaging long into adulthood.

"If, as a mother, I am my father's daughter, and I hate everything about him, what am I as a sister, who was all the mother they had?"

Althea was little more than a teenager when her mother died, leaving her to be a surrogate parent for her th
Rating 4.5

I got an email one day asking if I was interested in reading this new book. I never heard of the author or the book. But they teased me….saying it’s like Tayari Jones (a recent find of an author who is becoming a favorite). I immediately jumped at the offer to read it. When it arrived, I figured I would throw it on the pile of books to eventually get to it. But I opened it and read the first few lines and I was hooked.

Ultimately, this story is about family and the relationships bet
Katie B
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow, even though I have read a ton of books on complicated family relationships, this one was just on a different level. Really impressive debut novel.

When married couple Althea and Proctor are arrested, the town is outraged that the two,once widely respected, could violate their trust. Althea's sisters, Viola and Lillian, are forced to come to grips with what happened and care for the couple's teenage daughters.

I'm so utterly fascinated by this book, I am still thinking about it days later. I
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls is a story of Family - Family drama and family secrets.

The Butler family consisted of 2 parents and 4 children, 3 daughters: Althea, Viola and Lillian, and one son, Joe. Their mother dies when they are still young, and their father is often out on the road, preaching.

Fast forward to now: The siblings are adults. Althea finds herself in jail, as is her husband, Proctor. Lillian has been entrusted with the care of their 2 teenage daughters, Baby V
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

This book took awhile for my brain to wrap around the story. As is so often the case these days, you are just given glimpses of a plot, told from multiple perspectives. Althea and her husband, Proctor, have just been convicted of embezzlement from a charity they ran and are being sentenced to prison. Her two sisters and her twins are all grappling with what has happened. The book takes you through how their crime causes problems for the entire family. A ripple effect personified. It also shows h
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Extraordinary, powerful & moving!

THE CARE AND FEEDING OF RAVENOUSLY HUNGRY GIRLS by ANISSA GRAY is an absolutely fabulous, raw, heartfelt and moving novel that immediately grabbed my attention with that extremely intriguing opening line. The writing style hooked me immediately, the storyline was completely absorbing, and the characters were out-and-out fascinating.

ANISSA GRAY delivers an impressive, interesting and beautifully written read here that is told in alternating perspectives between t
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
An emotional family story.
In the opening scene of The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls, Althea, the female head of her family, is in jail and awaiting a trial. We quickly learn some backstory on the Butler family. Althea is the oldest of her siblings, and when her mother passes away, she’s in charge of everyone else.

Althea later marries Proctor, a man she met at her mother’s funeral when they were both young children. Althea and Proctor are charming, vital members of their local comm
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow! This book was thick with dysfunction, grief, guilt, and love!

When I finish this book I did not know what to think, I was emotionally exhausted and I needed to let this book simmer for a while. I needed to process the pain and the emotion I had just experienced. Anissa Gray has written one heck of a dark evocative and emotional debut! This book was so real, so raw, so uncomfortable, and yet so exquisite! It was a book I needed to take a few steps away from to truly appreciate, I needed to s
Hannah Greendale
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary, dnf
DNF at 30% (page 89). This book lacks teeth; it has no bite. It alternates between the first-person perspective of three sisters who are reflecting on one sister’s incarceration and how the entire family has been affected by her imprisonment, but all three voices are so similar they eventually blur. In the absence of intrigue, or surprising dialogue, or a nuanced exploration of deep-seeded emotions, or some sense that these characters are yearning or lacking or longing or something there’s just ...more
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, 2019-reads
The pain runs deep and the repercussions of childhood trauma ripples down through the generations.

When Althea and Proctor, two upstanding citizens who run a local business, are arrested and imprisoned for a white-collar crime, Althea's sisters and extended family must step in to parent their daughters. This crisis brings forth a lot of buried secrets, resentments, and pain.

The past has left scars that damaged each of them in ways that are expressed differently. For Althea and her siblings, the
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
The incarceration of a respected husband and wife leaves them in disgrace and their two daughters in the care of the wife’s sisters. This family is, indeed, starving but not in the literal sense. Some are starving for forgiveness. Others are starving for the feeling of belonging. There are physical absences, instances of Intermittent Explosion Disorder and driven ambitions that lead to bulimia, overeating and other ritualistic behaviors that provide comfort to the afflicted. This is an intimate ...more
3.5--oh how I wish I could get out of mediocre-ville!

I’m a ravenously hungry girl looking for a 5-star fancy feast. (My new cat’s favorite meal.) No luck; it’s just potatoes. A totally decent read, just not scrumptious.

The story is about what happens after a couple, Althea and Proctor, go to prison for fraud. Althea’s two sisters help with the couple’s two daughters. There’s drama all over the place as we hear about everyone’s childhoods and how the family members interact with each other, with
” There's no mercy in a live wire
No rest at all in freedom
Of the choices we are given
Ain’t no choice at all.

“The proof is in the fire
You touch before it moves away
But you must always know how long to stay
And when to go.”

-- ”Let Him Fly”Alisan Porter, Songwriters: Griffin, Patricia J

”Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off…”- Ezekiel 37:11

A remarkably powerful, compelling debut about confronting a past that is dark and broken, a family that bears the scars of the past, a
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Happy pub day to this beautiful book :)

Anissa Gray brilliantly captures the true meaning of family. The darkness, the light, and what encompasses the bind as a family.

I truly was left a mess after finishing this book and was completely wowed by Anissa's talent as a writer. A remarkable, powerful, and hauntingly emotional debut about confronting a past that is dark, broken, and fragile.

The Butler's live in a world of dsyfunctionality to its core. Athlea, Proctor, Viola, Baby Vi, and Kim are st
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
First of all, A+ for the fantastic title and bookcover! Props to whoever is responsible for these.

This is a very good book, especially for a debut novel. I was intrigued to see author Anissa Gray’s biography. She is an award-winning journalist, first with Reuters; and now as a writer, editor, and producer with CNN. She has very impressive credentials. I give her kudos for trying her hand at fiction. After reading her Acknowledgments, it appears that she has incorporated parts of herself into the
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Sisters, mothers, relationship struggles. When the eldest sister is imprisoned, the family disintegrates. There is blaming and forgiving, redemption and healing.

Good writing but overall, for me, this was just an ok read. Also, I think the title is too long!
3.5 ⭐️
Holly  B
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Between 3.5 and 4 Stars

A debut novel that highlights family relationships and the how the past affects the future.

There is a lot going on in this family and there are quite a few characters, so it took a bit for me to get everyone sorted. We learn that the Butler children had a rough rode to travel growing up, but they must face even more tough times as Althea and Proctor commit a crime and are sent to jail. Althea is the eldest, the one who raised her siblings, she now needs help with her own t
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Althea and Proctor Cochran are "disgraced restaurateurs and charity leaders...". They are "guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States..." Althea's Kitchen and Grocery is boarded up. Graffiti splashed on the outside wall contains the words "Prison: Food for Thought". A whistle blower's phone call changed the family dynamic and life as they knew it.

Althea and Proctor were living their dream when they opened Althea's Kitchen. They were pillars of the community, fund raising and running a foo
Theresa Alan
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a unique and complex novel of a complicated family. Althea is in jail waiting to be sentenced as is her husband. Althea essentially became a mother at the age of twelve when her own mother died, but the surviving younger siblings have a thorny relationship with their incarcerated sister, their siblings, and themselves. That’s what I liked about this book. The three sisters and one brother didn’t have easy childhoods, and their flawed adulthoods reflects that.

When Althea gave birth to fr
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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 Atlan ...more

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