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The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls

Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
4 out of 5 stars (236 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“If you enjoyed An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, read The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls...an absorbing commentary on love, family, and forgiveness.” (The Washington Post)

One of the most anticipated reads of 2019 from Vogue, Vanity Fair, Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Essence, Bustle, HelloGiggles, and Cosmo!

The Mothers meets An American Marriage” (HelloGiggles) in this dazzling debut novel about mothers and daughters, identity and family, and how the relationships that sustain you can also be the ones that consume you.

The Butler family has had their share of trials - as sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian can attest - but nothing prepared them for the literal trial that will upend their lives. Althea, the eldest sister and substitute matriarch, is a force to be reckoned with, and her younger sisters have alternately appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband, Proctor, are arrested, and in a heartbeat, the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. The worst part is not even her sisters are sure exactly what happened.

As Althea awaits her fate, Lillian and Viola must come together in the house they grew up in to care for their sister’s teenage daughters. What unfolds is a stunning portrait of the heart and core of an American family in a story that is as pause-resisting as it is important. 

Cast of Narrators:

January LaVoy as Viola

Adenrele Ojo as Althea

Bahni Turpin as Lillian

Dominic Hoffman as Proctor

©2019 Anissa Gray (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

An Indie Next pick

Library Reads pick

Barnes & Noble Discover Pick!  

"The inequities of the justice system, the fortitude of women of color, and the bittersweet struggle to connect are rendered ravishly in this bighearted novel." (Oprah Magazine

“[An] intimate family saga sure to appeal to fans of Tayari Jones and Celeste Ng.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“A poetically written story that guides us through a deep darkness toward a faint whisper of light seeping from beneath a closet door. A light that shows how love and forgiveness can come from unexpected places and triumph over more than we ever imagine.” (Delia Owens, New York Times best-selling author of Where the Crawdads Sing

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good read; Starts more conversations than it answers

Gray is clearly a talented writer with an interest in character development. This book came highly recommended from friends and I can see why. I ultimately enjoyed it and truly appreciated the multiple subject areas broached within the storyline of the characters. I also appreciated the Biblical allusions and symbolic refrains around water. It served to underscore a soothing back channel to the various challenged and strained character conflicts that unfold the entire story.
I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys fiction that serves as social commentary or anyone who enjoys narratives with multiple points of view.
The greatest criticism I had was that for all the elements previously stated that Gray clearly did well in producing, I almost felt there was more there than could be fully addressed. The “happy ending” side of me longed for greater resolution to at least a few of the deeper conflicts. While I believe Gray’s intent was to not overwrite and allow the reader some area for speculation & so I respect how this novel is truly a great book club selection and conversation piece. I selfishly wanted either a little more focus for resolution purposes or clarity in character motivation that preempted much of the conflict.
I always have a healthy respect though for authors who provide a good story and don’t do exactly what I want and I still like it anyway. I see it as a good challenge.
However if you’re looking for a cookie cutter novel that wraps up nicely in the end with redemption and a traditional plot line- this may not be the book for you.
Again- good read and well done in both story and narration.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Loved It!

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls is an absorbing and compassionate account of a family deep in crisis. It's beautifully written, rich with emotional insight, and has characters so engaging and fully developed that they all but walk off the page. The narration is superb. I couldn't stop listening and didn't want it to end. This is one of the best books I've ever "read".

Highly recommend.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Not for me

Based on the reviews on different blogs and book sites I expected this one to blow me away. It didn't. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I was supposed to feel sympathy for Kim and not enough time knowing the sisters.

Also at some point it began to feel like the author was just throwing every type of trauma at the characters that she could just to see how many would fit.

I wanted to enjoy this one but it just wasn't a good fit for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A deep look into generational trauma

I love this book for the way that it dug into deep generational trauma and the way that it just perpetuates itself no matter how hard you try. You've got these siblings that lost their mother, were mostly abandoned by their father, and abused by a family member. You're reminder that no matter how grown you get you bring that baggage with you and it seeps out into your life. The character development and narration were perfect imo. If you can't feel for these characters and end the book bawling then you've got no soul.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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SLOW

I so struggled to finish this book. the story moved way to slow for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Easy weekend listening

This is an interesting stories with well-developed characters. Everything about them isn't simply laid out, but they are all very distinct with their own challenges. At times the book seemed spread a bit too thin with so many characters dealing with their own issues. I guess it is a good sign when readers want to know more about characters. Things seem a bit rushed toward the end, and it feels like Baby Vi is ignored in the narrative, but what is there is good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Meh.....just ok

could have been better, just ok. felt as though something was missing, like the story wasn't complete.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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I wanted to like this story more than I did.

the readers were wonderful, but I found myself struggling to finish this book, although I did. It just seemed jumbled to me and hard to follow.

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Tangled Earbuds 58

I really enjoyed this story. The voice actors were very good. The story is good. Interesting characters that I could care about and the story was engaging. I would like to find more stories with these voice actors. Anissa Gray did a good job. I hope she writes more books.

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Haunting

Beautiful , haunting story of life and recovery. Surviving what has been done to us and finally breaking free and living.

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  • Kate Smith
  • 05-06-19

Excellent storyline, very well read.

Really enjoyed this story. Very well narrated by a good cast. The story involves the family of a couple in prison, how their childhood experiences shaped them and how their own children are subsequently affected. The story follows the extended family and how they work through these issues which initially divide them and ultimately bring them together.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robyn
  • 03-03-19

The redeeming power of love

Even in families, love can heal deep wounds. Time can be traversed without further injury, even hard times. How much courage dies it take to love enough for this to happen? This book explores how much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful