“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
“A fast-paced, intriguing story...the novel’s real achievement is its uncommon perceptiveness on the origins and variations of addiction.”—The New York Times Book Review
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 page-turning as it is important.
A trio of sisters reeling from a criminal conviction form the center of Gray's moving debut. Shortly before Thanksgiving 2013, small-town Michigan restaurateur Althea receives a multi-year sentence for food stamp fraud and charity embezzlement. While awaiting transport to prison, Althea makes friends with other inmates and refuses visits from her teenage twins, sullen and explosive Kim and shy Baby Vi. Althea's youngest sister, Lillian, has lavishly refurbished their childhood home, where she cares for the twins and her ex-husband's grandmother. The middle sister, Viola, returns from Chicago to help; she has been inadequately coping with a separation from her wife and backsliding into bulimia. Lillian bristles at their brother's suggestion he take the girls in, fearing he would physically and emotionally abuse them as he did her. After Kim runs away, Viola and Lillian keep the news from Althea while scrambling to find Kim. Gray uses alternate chapters narrated by the three sisters to fill in details of their upbringing by an itinerant preacher father who was prone to abusive outbursts the rare times he was at home, and their current struggles to heal and cope. This is perfect for fans of Brit Bennett's The Mothers; readers will be deeply affected by this story of a family wrestling to support itself.