304 pages | Berkeley | Adult Fiction | Release Date: 02/19/2019
I like a book with a really long title. Just throwing that out there.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls is this blend of African-American, Women’s and Literary fiction that I’m starting to find myself drawn to more.
This is a very human story of the Butler siblings who are brought together after their seemingly perfect elder sister, Althea, and her husband Proctor are convicted of a crime that shakes up their small lakeside town.
Everyone in this book has something to work through. Althea and her husband are trying to get through their prison sentences with their strong loving bond intact and without losing their teenage daughters, who are now being raised by Lillian, the youngest butler sister–who is also taking care of her ex-husband’s grandmother. At 36 and newly single this was not the life she was prepared for. The prodigal daughter and academic, Viola, returns home after separating from her wife and falling back into the clutches of her eating disorder.
Together these sisters navigate the pain of their childhood, the closely held secrets they have buried and the ways their father let the family down.
I like reading books about Black families that takes place in locations we don’t often see Black people in the media. This is a story about three Black women trying to find their way that doesn’t involve getting a man, getting a promotion or rubbing their fingers on their temples. It was about more interior things and (as Iyanla Vanzant would say) doing the work and coming out whole on the other side. This is like the novel version of those episodes of NPR (which are not my favorite) where reporters re-examine moments from their childhood and look for answers and meaning.
Orange Is The New Black meets Queen Sugar in this solid debut about women finding their way through the unexpected.
Check out the audiobook review on Audiofile!
I was really shocked to discover that Anissa Gray is a career journalist, this is the kind of book that I expected from a life-long fiction writer. I can’t wait to see what she write next.