At its core, Anissa Gray’s The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls deals with the holes left in a person’s heart and the strategies they create to deal with loss, expectation, and need.
Althea and Proctor Cochran, pillars of the community, are going to jail for food stamp fraud and embezzling money from charities. They’re leaving behind their two girls, Kim and Little Vi, counting on the girls’ aunts, Althea’s sisters, to step in and give the girls a home.
Lillian feels like she has no idea how to be a parent. She wants to rely on Viola, an accomplished psychologist who specializes in eating disorders. Viola is in the middle of a separation from her wife and a reoccurrence of her bulimia. It’s safe to say that Althea’s prison sentence has ripped the lid off everyone’s coping mechanisms.
In the midst of all this, all three women are coming to grips with a childhood that included an emotionally distant and often abusively angry father, figuring out how he left an imprint on their lives and the relationships they have with each other.
All the thinking comes to an abrupt end when Kim, the oldest child, runs away from home. While Althea and Proctor can only wait and worry, Lillian and Viola search for Kim with all the resources that are available to them. Will Kim come home? Will the children and adults find a way to fashion a functioning family in spite of their unique challenges? You’ll have to read to find out. The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls is available at the Augusta-Richmond County Library in print or through the LIBBY app as an eBook.