Book Review: The Care & Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray

Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A debut novel TW: possible child abuse, arson, infidelity Anissa Gray knocked it o...

Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A debut novel

TW: possible child abuse, arson, infidelity

Anissa Gray knocked it out of the park with The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls. I don't read a ton of contemporary fiction, because I'm so attuned to thrillers with big twists that anything without a big reveal can seem unfulfilling, but Ravenously Hungry Girls left me fulfilled/satisfied, but I want more time with the characters, if that makes sense. The prose was beautiful and the story is haunting in the best way.

The novel follows three sisters suffering trials and tribulations. Althea, the oldest, is serving time in county jail waiting for a transfer to federal prison after committing fraud alongside her husband, Proctor. Viola, recently separated from her wife and struggling with a lifelong eating disorder, is trying to survive her personal struggles while figuring out how to support her sisters. Lillian is the youngest, and the one who takes care of everyone - caretaking her ex-husband's Nai Nai and Althea's twin teenager daughters. Through intertwining narratives, The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls tells an emotional story of family and self-support.

This is one heck of a debut novel. It reminds me of required reading in the best possible way - the story is deeply emotional. The characters are flawed but functional. I was invested in most of the characters. I felt the three main characters were well-developed, but did feel the support characters were lacking a bit. Though Kim, Baby Vi, and Joe were not part of the shared narrative, their stories were critical to the plot and I would have loved to had further development for them. I also would have loved more background on Nai Nai, because I really enjoyed her pieces in the story.

"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..." - Anissa Gray, The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls

The cast of characters were so diverse, and the issues they were facing were so real. The stories of the characters were eye-opening and relevant. I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy contemporary fiction. I thought this one was reminiscent of Little Fires Everywhere, and though not my preferred genre (no twist or big shockers!), this novel was heartfelt and beautifully written.

Goodreads rating: ★★★★☆

*I was provided an ARC of this book via Goodreads giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.

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  1. Adding this to my TBR, I hadn't even heard of it till this post!

    1. It is really fantastic! It's a debut novel, so sometimes those end up with a little less press. I won it on a whim from Goodreads and I'm so glad I did!