Gina's Reviews > The Kitchen House

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
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Jan 01, 12


This is my favorite read finally of this year! It will be a while, I'm sure, before I find another novel to pull at my heart like this story has done.

Lavinia, a young seven year old is orphaned while onboard a ship from Ireland to America. Since there is no one left to care for her, the ship's captain James Pyke, takes her home to work as an indentured servant. 1791 Tidewater, Virginia is not an easy time in America's history, so when you bring a white girl in to work in the kitchen house of a tobacco plantation there are bound to be problems. Lavinia tries her best to bond with Belle, the illegitimate daughter of the plantation owner, and to fit into the social order that has been laid out at the plantation. However, her white skin sets her apart and when at the age of 17 she marries Marshall Pyke, the Captain's son, literally all hell breaks loose when racial tensions, family misunderstanding, lynching, rape, arson, and murder rear their inevitable ugly head at Tall Oaks Plantation.

Told in a narrative back and forth style between Lavinia and Belle, the reader sees the full picture that neither character is fully aware of until the inevitable and horrible conclusion is reached. The reader finds themselves cheering on beloved characters and at the same time scratching their heads as to how a person living this nightmare can be so blind to what is truly going on right under their noses.

This is an amazing story of what real family love is all about.
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message 1: by Liz (new)

Liz Pfeiffer Really great book.,


Jolie Goldstein Try Fortunate Son by Walter Mosley


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