Meet the Kids of Appetite. They live in Greenhouse Number Eleven, each for very different reasons.
Vic. Carrying around an urn with his dead dad’s ashes. Has Moebius Syndrome. Has an obsession with Matisse and “The Flower Duet.” In love with Mad.
Madeline Falco (aka Mad): Unstable home life. Marches to her own Madifesto. Punk haircut with a smoking habit. Loyal to a fault. She shouldn’t have survived the car crash.
Baz: Congolese. Makes an honest living. Collects the stories of the Kids of Appetite. Wants to make a book of these stories.
Zuz: Baz’s brother. Speaks by snapping his fingers.
Coco: Red-head kid with a colorful vocabulary.
The Kids of Appetite “lived and they laughed and they saw that it was good.” The story begins with Vic running away from home with his father’s ashes, following very cryptic instructions of where to scatter them. He is taken in by the Kids of Appetite (Mad, Baz, Zuz, and Coco). The book alternates between past tense and present tense: a police station in Hackensack. A murder investigation. The Kabongo brothers are suspect. Vic and Mad are in separate interrogation rooms recounting the story from the very beginning. Which is eight days ago, but in reality, the truth is hidden inside each character. David Arnold outdoes himself. Which is to say that where Mosquitoland was a breath of fresh-air, The Kids of Appetite is breathtaking. Every line is purposeful and Arnold’s sentence craftsmanship is perfection. This is one super racehorse of a book. I may have finished reading, but I didn’t want to leave the Kids of Appetite behind.
For fans of murder mysteries, love stories, and excellent storytelling, pick up this book. You will not be disappointed.