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Paperback The Kitchen House : A Novel Book

ISBN: 1439153663

ISBN13: 9781439153666

The Kitchen House : A Novel

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Book Overview

Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of the highly anticipated Glory Over Everything , established herself as a remarkable new talent with The Kitchen House , now a contemporary classic. In this gripping novel, a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate at a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War. Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives...

Customer Reviews

11 ratings

One of my favorites!

One of my all time favorite books!! Very easy to read and such a captivating story! Sad, happy, funny -- this book is a roller-coaster of emotions. Highly recommend!

This book is a must read, must own, must rave about!

From the beginning of this book, you are so drawn in that it almost physically hurts to put it down. The characters are easy to fall in love with or hate depending on who they are and overall connect with each of them on some emotional level. There were a few chapters that I read so frantic and nerve wrecked because it was just that good. Please don't just read this book. Own it and sit it in your personal library. When anybody asks you what you suggest they read, suggest this book.

A great twist on historical fiction

Let me start by saying that by Chapter 3 of this book, I was already crying. This book did not disappoint. It is an antebellum historical fiction about slavery. The main character is a young white girl who becomes an indentured servant, after losing her family, and becomes part of a new family. That is what drew me in to start with. I could not put this book down. And I still can't believe how this book left me feeling. Probably one of the best written books I have read. I was fully invested into this book, the story line, the characters. Not a stone was left unturned for me. I'm glad the book ended, because I could not put it down. I missed many hours of sleep in order to just keep reading. This book is worth reading non-stop, or savoring like a fine wine. It definitely lives up to the reviews of being recommended for book clubs! I'm glad I gave my women's lit reading a break for this gem.

I was so sad they never got Sukey back😭

Humbled

I couldn't put this book down! I am humbled by the character's struggles and their strength!

If you loved this book you should read, "Glory Over Everything". It was worth the wait.....loved both of them.

A review.

At 17, I realize that I'm not the greatest authority on literary merit. My life has been short, relatively unlived, inexperienced. I spend most of my time living through the lives of fictional people on someone else's pages and I feel the uneven weight of the book in my hands. I read The Kitchen House and couldn't feel a thing that wasn't being felt by Belle and Lavinia. I saw only them, their world. And when it was all over, I felt that I might cry because the last page had turned but suddenly, it seemed like the room wasn't empty. As I read, all of them- Belle, Ben, Marshall even- had peeled their backs off the words to hover around me. And they haunted me for days, followed me everywhere. This novel is the kind that pulls in one as one person before spitting you back out wholly other. Maybe it's the raw, unabashed emotion, the unhindered heartache that claws into you, snags on that darkest part of you and intensifies it. Makes you regret your sins and rejoice in your loves. Either way, I felt what I've rarely felt- that my short life may have been slightly changed by The Kitchen House- or, really, the lives of those inside of it. That I had moved one inch, however miniscule, closer to that part of my bloodline, my heritage, which had remained so almost dreamlike in its distance, untouchable. Belle could be anyone's ancestor, Lavinia could be anyone's history. Yeah, that's it. I felt, I think, for the first time, really connected to a past I had only ever read about in text books. In 2 days, this novel revealed more than 12 years of U.S. History. And made it real, true, beautifully horrible in every ghostly- or ghastly- way. There really aren't words, though I've used a considerable amount, to describe the swell of emotions you feel while reading this. But I suppose that's where the beauty lies. In the ability of words on white pages to create from their inhumanity that rawest spectrum of feelings which mark us as truly human. The "O" of OSG, Olivia

Absolute charm!!!!!

I choose this book as it was a new release for the Kindle. The review sounded good and I always like to give debut authors a try. Loving my new Kindle and this book made it easy to read. I simply could not put it down. I was so deeply drawn to the characters that I felt myself feeling so much emotion. You can't help but feel happiness, sadness, revenge and yes cry with some of the characters. It really shows the amount of extensive reseach Ms.Grissom has done and transposed it into a beautiful story. Give yourself a treat and welcome Ms.Grissom by reading this delight. Can't wait to see what she brings us next.

Difficult to put down

Author Kathleen Grissom brings us a gripping tale of the South during the days of slavery. The story is told from two different perspectives: Belle, the mulatto daughter of plantation owner Captain Pyke, and Lavinia, a white girl from Ireland who is sent to work in the "kitchen house" with Belle and other "nigras." Belle, whose mother was a slave, was born on the plantation. Lavinia is an indentured servant whose parents came from Ireland on a boat owned by Captain Pyke. Both her parents die on the voyage, but she and her brother, Campbell, survive. While Campbell is sent to be a servant in another city, Lavinia goes to live on Pyke's plantation. Lavinia is only seven years old when her parents pass away. The experience is so traumatic that, for several months, she has no memory of the event. She is cared for partly by Belle and partly by Mama Mae, a black slave who is in charge of the female slaves. Even though Lavinia is white skinned, she develops a deep bond with the blacks on the plantation, going so far as to call them "her family." Captain Pyke is a busy merchant and spends much of his time away from home. He leaves the plantation in charge of his weak, sickly wife, Martha, and Mr. Rankin, the overseer who is hungry for power. When the Pykes' youngest daughter, Sally, dies, Martha is overcome with grief and turns to laudanum for comfort. Mr. Rankin sees this as an opportunity to run the place the way he sees fit, which is to say that he makes life miserable for everybody. Add in Mr. Waters, the male tutor who abuses the plantation owner's son, Marshall, and you have a recipe for disaster. Lavinia is only 11 years old when she meets Will Stephens, who is employed by the Captain. Although they are many years apart in age, Lavinia has a major crush on this much older man, and as she grows older, she realizes she loves him. Will falls in love with her, too, though she doesn't know it. Through a chain of miscommunications, they never have the chance to declare their love for each other until it is too late. Just before her 13th birthday, Captain Pyke dies. Lavinia is sent away from the plantation to live with Martha's sister, Sarah, and her husband in Williamsburg. For the most part, she is happy there, but she longs to go "back home" to Tall Oaks. She achieves her desires when she marries Marshall Pyke and becomes the mistress of the plantation. Unfortunately, her dreams for a peaceful life in her childhood "home" are shattered when the truth of her husband's drunkenness and marital infidelities are revealed. She is also faced with the reality of the clearly drawn line on the plantation between the whites and the blacks. As the new mistress, she is no longer permitted to call the slaves her family; they are simply her slaves now. Kathleen Grissom's first novel explores the well-known side of the dark world of slavery as well as the not-so-well-known world of white slavery, or indentured servitude. The book is written in a manner that is

The Kitchen House Mentions in Our Blog

The Kitchen House in 20 Must-Read Picks for Every Book Club
20 Must-Read Picks for Every Book Club
Published by Holly M. Viola • July 31, 2019
Choosing a book for your book club to read can be challenging. You want books that are thought-provoking and intelligent but still approachable. To get you started, we've put together a list of 20 sure-fire conversation starters, ranging from the best contemporary literature to historical fiction, memoirs, and history.
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