Self-doubting Ruth is coddled by her immigrant mother, who uses food to soothe and control. Defiant Francesca believes her heavy frame shames her Park Avenue society mother and, to provoke her, consumes everything in sight. Lonely Opal longs to be included in her glamorous mother’s dinner dates—until a disturbing encounter forever changes her desires. Finally, Setsu, a promising violinist, staves off conflict with her jealous brother by allowing him to take the choicest morsels from her plate—and from her future. College brings the four young women together as suitemates, where their stories and appetites collide. Here they make a pact to maintain their friendships into adulthood, but each must first find strength and her own way in the world.
“Four college suitemates, each with her own frustrated desires, reunite at a baby shower. After 11 years, will any of them have found real happiness? Moses’ debut novel thoughtfully evokes the interior lives of these women, distinguishing each with her unique heartbreaks. . . . A beautifully written . . . tale of women finding courage.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The Appetite of Girls is smart and tender and true. The characters have stayed with me ever since I turned the final page. Ruth, Francesca, Opal, and Setsu: I know these women because I’m one of them. We all are. We’re brave. We’re afraid. We’re loving. We’re destructive. We’re finding our way in a difficult world.” —Rebecca Rasmussen, author of The Bird Sisters
“I think this is such an important novel for women to read. It is a vivid, multilayered portrayal of friendship and the earnest, often heartbreaking search for a true sense of self. I enjoyed it immensely.” —Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times–bestselling author of The Weight of Silence
“The Appetites of Girls is a terrific novel. On one level, it’s a good read about four very human young female friends. On another level, it exposes and illuminates the ways in which women use food as a proxy weapon in battles with others and themselves. And, most hauntingly, it shows us how even young women with clear advantages (these girls are Ivy-Leaguers!) must struggle to recognize and accept their own intrinsic powers.” —Martha Moody, bestselling author of Best Friends
“I so enjoyed this intelligent novel. At times it seemed to double as a riveting sociological study as it delved into the complex relationship between women and food. An important book for our times—and for our friends, daughters, and ourselves.” —Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Best of us
“The Appetites of Girls is comfort food in the form of a novel that weaves four women’s stories into a delicious and uplifting casserole of female friendship and the complicated relationships we all have with eating, life and each other.” —Danielle Ganek, author of The Summer We Read Gatsby