Happy Pub Day to THE CARE AND FEEDING OF RAVENOUSLY HUNGRY GIRLS! And thank you to Berkley Pub for sending me a free copy to review – as always, all opinions are my own.
Author: Anissa Gray
Pub Date: February 5th, 2019
Feel Learn Wonder Rating: 3.5/5
“An American Marriage crossed with The Mothers” is how this book is being blurbed. This was the perfect bait for me – since I loved An American Marriage when I read it last year, I knew I had to read to read it. There are undoubtedly similarities between the books, but I don’t think the comparison did this book any favors. Overall, I liked this book, but particularly given the comparisons, I really wanted more.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls is the story of three adult sisters – Althea, Lillian and Viola. As the book opens, Althea and her husband have recently been convicted of a crime and and are awaiting the sentencing. Lillian and Viola, not entirely stable themselves, are left to deal with the shock as well as Althea’s two children. The days and weeks unfold as the details of each character’s complicated lives are revealed to the reader.
My primary comment on this book is that I wanted more. I wanted more details on the crime that Althea and Proctor had commited. I wanted more details on the length of their sentence. I wanted to know more about Kim’s relationship with Althea, her mother. I felt like there were topics that the book could have explored so much more, but didn’t. And to my point in the intro, I felt the same way when I read The Mothers — so perhaps that was an apt comparison?
As a positive note, the writing in this book was extraordinary – particularly in the beginning. I started the book in a cafe with a friend and after holding my breath for the first ten pages, I declared the book “crazy good.” You could just tell that there was going to be something special there.
Overall, despite really enjoying the writing, I found a lot of the plot a little too surface level for the potential that this story had. I could go from tearing up on one page, to feeling lost and devoid of emotions at the next, but I wanted to feel more consistently engaged, like I have with some other recent favorites.