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The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  429 ratings  ·  209 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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3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  429 ratings  ·  209 reviews

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Miranda Reads

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 who
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
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
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: 2019-releases, arcs
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
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 betwe
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.
(Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
"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, fo
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
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 real l

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 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
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
Norma * Traveling Sister
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 betwe
” 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, and
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
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
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
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
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Crisis has a way of bringing family together, physically if not otherwise.  Here, you see the tight smiles and cringe at the inauthentic laughter and forced small talk.  Relationships that are tenuous at best are further strained.  Resentments harbored for years resurface, and old scars become raw again.  Sisters and daughters, sisters acting as mothers.  All hungering for love, acceptance, and respect.  

Copy furnished by Berkley Publishing Group.
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
3.5 stars.

Raw. Emotional. Insightful. Heart-breaking. Hopeful.

Hard working and highly respected local restaurant owners, Althea and Proctor, stun their community when they are arrested and jailed for crimes unknown to their small town. Althea’s sisters, Viola and Lillian, are left to pick up the pieces for Althea and Proctor’s children, Baby V and Kim, who are ‘orphaned’ and left feeling lost in life.

This is a deeply affecting novel that had me feeling the strong sense of sadness that haunted
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 debut stars
My reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

Family comes with its issues, its values, its love and oftentimes sadly its hate. It is the glue that binds us together, but also the sparks which split us apart. In this debut novel, due out in February 2019, Anissa Gray explores the value of family, the hurts they inflict, but also the love that beings them together to face the tragedies of the past and those that are now present.

This book, The Care and Feeding
leslie hamod
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My sincerest thanks to Penguin Random House and Author Anissa Gray for allowing me the privilege to read and review this book objectively.
I began this book, immediately taking it to heart. I read it over several hours and was touched emotionally and spiritually. We all live our lives, with histories and secrets. Life sucker punches the life out of you. Not hitting once but sometimes so much that one is driven to despair, even thoughts of the sweetest release of death. It hurts us, but it doesn't
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
4.5 well fed stars

Emerging from the depths of human emotions, this debut novel brilliantly captures all the dark and light places a family experiences when tragedy hits. With stunning empathy and intelligence, Anissa Gray explores in alternate voices the portrait of siblings left to pick up the pieces of their oldest sister’s life, as well as confront, heal and overcome their own daemons from the past.

Althea and her husband Proctor are staples in their community. With a strong sense of work eth
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“Words can either feed you or eat you alive.”

I wanted The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls for the title alone and was beyond shocked when I received an advanced copy back in October . . . . which I then promptly made sure to not read due to the blurbage that stated it was for fans of An American Marriage. Uhhhhhhhhhhh. With the release date quickly approaching I figured it was time to put on my big girl panties and let th
Hannah Greendale
Feb 17, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: contemporary
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
This book has soul. Lots of it. Atmospheric to boot. Intense. Passionate.

I can write a long review, or keep it short and hopefully meaningful. The latter feels more like the right choice for me.

I enjoyed this experience of becoming a silent witness to a family's challenges when an angry member of the Cochran family informs the police about a wrong against a community, resulting in the two pillars of society in the family to land up incarcerated: Althea Marie-Cochran and Proctor Cochran- husband
♥ Sandi ❣
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to ♥ Sandi ❣ by: BookBrowse
4 stars Thank you to BookBrowse and Berkley for allowing me to read and review this ARC. Publishes February 19, 2019.

Relationships - terrifying! And when they are relationships between a Mother and her daughter they become even more confusing, more highly emotional and possibly more devastating. Then add in relationships with siblings, runaways, lies and prison and you have this amazing debut novel from Anissa Gray.

Right from the first sentence, "You do a lot of thinking in jail.", this book g
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 struggling to survive the tragedy brought
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: publisher, reviewed
African American siblings Althea, Viola, Lillian and Joe were born and raised in New River Junction, Michigan. They were children when their mother died and Althea shouldered most of the responsibility for their care thereafter. Now they are in their 30s and 40s but each of them still carries a lot of baggage from their childhood. The precipitating crisis that brings out old conflicts is the arrest and imprisonment of Althea and her husband Proctor, former pillars of the community, for committin ...more
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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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“It's one of those rare Splenda moments in here. Little imitations of life that, depending on your tastes, can be a kind of substitute for what you're missing on the outside, like real friends, real family, and something really worth celebrating.” 0 likes
“And I think, What did I want to be? Definitely not a bookkeeper. That's something I just ended up becoming after years and years of night school. And a restaurant owner? That was Proctor's dream, at first. A mother? I think I just became everything I am. Was. But at least I was someone out there.” 0 likes
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