REVIEW: The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls

Expected publication: February 19th, 2019 by Berkley

 

With such an awesome title and cover I was immediately interested in getting my hands on this novel. The description was intriguing.

The Mothers meets An American Marriage 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.”

We first meet Althea. Althea is telling us what jail is like. She says it’s a place where you definitely do a lot of thinking. She lives in a cell that is the size of her walk-in closet at home. Althea often compares what she’s done to other inmate’s crimes so she can say “at least I didn’t do THAT”. The Chaplain tells her that no good can come from comparing.  The Chaplain also said her crime does not have to define who she is.

Who am I?

 

Althea never thought she’d leave her home in New River Junction. She had made promises that kept her there. But she’s been moving further away since that fateful day two years earlier. The day the police came. At first Althea and her husband, Proctor thought the men were there for lunch. But they were there as cops, not customers.

“I don’t know how to say this, but look, we gotta take Y’all in.”

They didn’t know that day had started with a phone call that would change everything. The caller was someone no one would have ever expected…especially Althea.

NOW…Althea and Proctor await their fate.

Althea isn’t the only one wondering who she is. Other members of the family wonder the same about themselves.

When Lillian moved home years earlier she would never have guessed she’d end up where she is now. She wishes her sister, Viola would step in to help out with the girls. Lillian is trying her best but feels she’s getting it wrong. Plus she’s found this has brought up things from the past, things that she (and some of the other members of the family) would prefer to forget.

 Will she be able to confront the past?

Viola lives in Chicago but has come back to help out with Kim and Baby Vi. But Viola is also struggling. She is trying to deal with everything going on in the family as well as her own health and well-being.

The Butler family has had their struggles but over the years became one of the most respected families in town. But nothing prepares the family for the night Althea and Proctor are arrested. And just when they think things can’t get any worse? They do. Will the family get it together enough to help not just Althea’s children but themselves too?

I enjoyed this story. However, I did have a hard time getting into it at first. It felt like there were a lot of characters and I was finding it difficult keeping everyone straight. However, I am glad that I stuck with it as I really found my groove around the halfway mark.

The story is told with the sister’s alternating points of view and includes letters Althea and Proctor write each other while in jail. We learn a lot about this family and their struggles. I thought the author did a good job of bringing many issues to light. The story shows what can happen when anger and jealousy take over. We see the very different ways in which the characters upbringing and early experiences helped define them and stayed with them throughout their lives.

Overall, I thought this was a good debut novel. An interesting story about longing, hunger (the many kinds), secrets, guilt, family, loyalty, and much more.

I’m excited to see what Anissa Gray writes next.

 

I’d like to thank Berkley Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel.

 

Advertisements

First Line Fridays – The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

FLF Fall

Welcome to First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books!

 

This is my first time posting First Line Fridays.  It looks like fun so I thought I would give it a go.  The first line is from a book I’m really excited to read…

The novel is:

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

(Click on the book cover if you would like to read the Goodreads description for this novel).

39863405

Expected publication: April 23rd, 2019
St. Martin’s Press

 

The first line:

 

“I am folding laundry at my dining room table when the police car pulls up.”

 

What an intriguing first line!

I would love to hear what you are currently reading. Feel free to join in or if you like you can also let me know what your first line is in the comments below.

 

Happy Friday!

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

Music Monday – Boney M. – Mary’s Boy Child and Little Drummer Boy

musicmonday

Music Monday is a meme that was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song and/or video and share it on Monday.

 

Today I am sharing:

 

Boney M. – Mary’s Boy Child and Little Drummer Boy

 

 I remember listening to Boney M’s Christmas album with my family every Christmas and it’s still one I like to listen to every year. I love Boney M’s music but these two songs are definitely my favorites. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my bookish friends! 

 

 

 

Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord Boney M.

Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day
And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day

Long time ago in Bethlehem, so the Holy Bible said
Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day

Hark, now hear the angels sing, a king was born today
And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day
Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day

While shepherds watch their flocks by night
They see a bright new shining star
They hear a choir sing a song, the music seemed to come from afar

Hark, now hear the angels sing, a king was born today
And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day

For a moment the world was aglow, all the bells rang out
There were tears of joy and laughter, people shouted
“Let everyone know, there is hope for all to find peace”

Oh my Lord
You sent your son to save us
Oh my Lord
Your very self you gave us
Oh my Lord
That sin may not enslave us
And love may reign once more

Oh my Lord
When in the crib they found him
Oh my Lord
A golden halo crowned him
Oh my Lord
They gathered all around him
To see him and adore (this day will live forever)

Oh my Lord (so praise the Lord)
They had become to doubt you
Oh my Lord (he is the truth forever)
What did they know about you
Oh my Lord (so praise the Lord)
But they were lost without you
They needed you so bad (his light is shining on us)

Oh my Lord (so praise the Lord)
With the child’s adoration
Oh my lord (he is a personation)
There came great jubilation
Oh my Lord (so praise the Lord)
And full of admiration
They realized what they had (until the sun falls from the sky)

Oh my Lord (oh praise the Lord)
You sent your son to save us
Oh my Lord (this day will live forever)
Your very self you gave us
Oh my Lord (so praise the Lord)

Songwriters: Fred Jay / Frank Farian / Jester Hairstone

Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

Little Drummer Boy by Boney M.

Come, they told me pa-rum pum pum pum
Our newborn King to see, pa-rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we’ll bring pa-rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King pa-rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum. rum pum pum pum
So to honor Him pa-rum pum pum pum
When we come

Little Baby pa-rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa-rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring pa-rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give our King pa-rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum
Shall I play for you?, pa-rum pum pum pum
On my drum?

Mary nodded pa-rum pum pum pum
The Ox and Lamb kept time pa-rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him pa-rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him pa-rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum
Then He smiled at me pa-rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum

Mary nodded pa-rum pum pum pum
The Ox and Lamb kept time pa-rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him pa-rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him pa-rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum
Then He smiled at me pa-rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum, me and my drum, me and my drum
Me and my drum, me and my drum, me and my drum

Songwriters: Harry Simeone / Henry Onorati / Katherine K Davis

Little Drummer Boy lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

 

REVIEW – The Night Before by Wendy Walker

The Night Before

Expected publication: May 14th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

I really enjoyed this author’s previous novels, “Emma in the Night” and “All is Not Forgotten”.  Needless to say, I was looking forward to reading “The Night Before”. Especially after reading the description.

Twelve hours earlier, she was…
Hopeful.
Excited.
Safe.

Now she’s gone.

The book begins four months earlier. Laura Lochner is in session with her therapist. She’s talking about a night from many years ago. She wants to know why she has such bad luck with relationships. Why she’s “the girl no one can love”. Her therapist thinks she’ll find the answers by going home.

The story jumps to the present. Twenty-eight year old, Laura has moved home and is living with her sister, husband, and nephew. She hasn’t told them exactly why she left New York, but they know that it involves a man. Laura left home after graduating from High School and she never looked back.

Laura now feels like she’s ready to start dating again and joins a dating website. She meets a man on the website named Jonathan Fields. Her sister, Rosie is helping her get ready for her first date with Jonathan. Rosie is nervous about Laura dating. As Laura leaves, she tells her sister not to worry. She says she’s going to get it right this time.

When Rosie wakes up the next morning she feels like something is wrong.  She tries to tell herself that everything is fine.  She knows that Laura has good intentions. But Rosie’s memories of a night eleven years ago keep her on edge.  She opens the door to the bedroom where Laura has been staying. It’s empty. The bed has not been slept in.

“Something is wrong”

Rosie’s husband tells her not to worry, that Laura is fine. But as the day goes on even he starts to get concerned. They start to investigate on their own. They don’t think that calling the police will help them find Laura, in fact, they worry that it might even make things worse.

Where is Laura?

Once I started this book, it was difficult to stop…very difficult. I thought this was a great read!!

The story is told from Laura and Rosie’s point of view, and takes place in the present but includes flashbacks from the past. Some of Laura’s therapy sessions are interspersed throughout the novel.

“The Night Before” is a smart and compulsively readable psychological suspense novel. With an original and engaging plot and a fascinating cast of characters, I was hooked from the start. I enjoyed the story and really liked how it all came together in the end.

I’m THRILLED to say that I’m now three for three with Wendy Walker, and as I’ve said before …

I CANNOT wait for more!!

I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.