Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review - The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

When I was doing my IRISH WEEK recently, I ran across the book, "The Kitchen House" by Kathleen Grissom, and while not set in Ireland, the main character is Irish.  I was fascinated by this historical fiction and wanted to share it with you!

About the Book: (from GoodReads.com)

When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family.
Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin.
Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.

The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.

My Thoughts:

This is a powerful story that shows a side of slavery that is rarely mentioned - that there were white slaves as well as blacks before the Civil War. Lavinia is a courageous character, enduring unimaginable hardships, but she remains strong to the very end of the story. I highly recommend this book.

About The Author:

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Kathleen Grissom is now happily rooted in south-side Virginia, where she and her husband live in the plantation tavern they renovated. The Kitchen House is her first novel. You can visit her website at http://www.kathleengrissom.com/.

This book is from my personal library.

CHALLENGE FULFILLMENT: 100+ Books; Where Are You Reading?; Southern Lit


Bonnie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Hands and Home! I'm glad I popped over here beucase this books looks great.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Wow, this sounds interesting. Adding it to my wishlist right now.

Carol N Wong said...

I loved that book, really cared about the main characters and learned a lot too!

Carol Wong

Patti's Pages said...

I enjoyed this book, too, and didn't realize that the author is Canadian. Thanks!

Italia said...

After reading "The Kitchen House" I believe that Kathleen Grissom has crafted an absorbing historical tale that probes the darkest edges in this villainous period of American history by employing an extraordinary and distinctive approach. The author cleverly created two contrasting protagonists, Lavinia, the white girl-to-woman, and Belle, the mixed race slave, to move the story alternately from their separate perspectives; Ms. Grissom guides the reader into the deepest reaches of the soul of each character in the book. For me, at least, this memorable cast of characters, from the good ones to the downright evil ones seems to have established permanent residence in my thoughts.