The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls
by Anissa Gray
Hardcover, 304 pages
Berkley Publishing (February 19, 2019)
Hardcover personal copy; electronic galley provided by publisher
As I have stated so many times in the past, and I doubt this will be the last time, I believe that each reader’s experience of a book is colored by their own background, personality and relationships; this is what makes reading such an individual pursuit, but also makes for meaningful discussion and offers the opportunity to broaden our perspective.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls impacted me on a very personal level; I have experience with both incarceration and disordered eating (and I will note that individuals for whom these are difficult topics should be aware of their presence within this novel), so I felt very connected to several of the characters within this book.
While the story is centered around married couple Althea and Proctor, who are sentenced to incarceration in federal prison after defrauding their community through charity events, it includes Althea’s two sisters and brother as well as Althea and Proctor’s two daughters. What makes the story remarkable is that each of these family members are hurting, all stricken with wounds that continue to reopen with each new development they are forced to endure. As I was once told, hurting people hurt people; that statement proves true in this novel.
In addition, each have found their own methods of coping with their pain; as one might guess, they are not healthy mechanisms and present their own set of problems that affect they way in which they interact with one another. Before you reject this one in despair, the beauty is found in Gray’s ability to built such rich, complex characters, full of so much compassion and descriptive emotion that I found myself irreversibly connected to their stories.
I have read comparisons of this one to both The Mothers and An American Marriage (my review), but I don’t find those to be appropriate; if anything, thanks to the intense family element and difficult circumstances, I might compare this to A Place for Us. Nevertheless, I have a feeling this will be one of my favorite books of the year and, while my experience is certainly colored by my own story, I highly recommend giving this one a try.