The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
Book Review: 3 out of 5 star rating
Althea, Viola, Joe and Lillian were the Butler children. The childhood was not the best as their mother died when they were young and their father was abusive but wasn’t around very much. Althea was only 12 years old when she was left in charge of the family. Their problems as children follow them into adulthood. Althea is now middle age and is on trial, along with her husband Proctor, for food stamp fraud and taking money from their community members through their charitable works. Althea and Proctor were highly regarded for all they did for the community so their fall from grace was difficult for them, their family and the entire community. Their twin teenage daughters, Kim and Baby Vi, are living with Lillian, who has her hands full with them. Viola is now a therapist but struggling with bulimia and is estranged from her wife. And Joe – well, Joe has a lot to be regretful about.
This tale of a dysfunctional family and their demons and the effect of Althea and Proctor’s theft on the family and community failed to capture my heart. I had absolutely no sympathy for Althea and Proctor and the mess they found themselves in. While I did sympathize with the rest of the family, their plight seemed to be removed and I just read the book from a distance. I just didn’t connect with the characters much at all. I found some of the book repetitive and drawn out. It wasn’t a terrible book and I kept reading to find out what happened. There was one point towards the end of the book where I thought the book was finished but was surprised to see that it kept going. I think it would have been a better ending a bit earlier on. Maybe it was just me and from the reviews it does seem that I’m in the minority but I can’t give this book more than 3 stars nor can I recommend it.
This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.