Lisette's Reviews > The Kitchen House

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
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Mar 02, 2016

it was ok
Read in July, 2012

4 stars for being good in that it's very interesting and well-written. Although it's such a depressing book, "really liked it" isn't a good way to describe my feelings on it. Set at the end of the 18th century in Virginia, The Kitchen House is told from two perspectives: that of an orphaned girl who is an indentured servant and that of a woman who is both slave and daughter to the plantation's master. It's more a book of how frustratingly impotent these women are when it comes to controlling their lives, although it doesn't stop there as it addresses the effects child sexual abuse and the emasculation men feel when in bondage.

Which brings me to what I feel is a major hole in the plot:
(view spoiler)

Like I said, depressing topic. In the author's note, Grissom says this is the only way she could tell the story. But I still see that as a choice, despite her claimed powerlessness over how the book turned out. She hints at having some prophetic connection to real people who inspired this story.

Even if that's so, if she wanted to edit in a happier ending, she could have done it. So, in a way, the author mirrors the exact same powerlessness/refusal to take action that the women in her book display. Reality or not, I wanted a better ending after all that doom and gloom.

I don't need more reminders of how horrid life can be. When I read, I want to be uplifted, inspired and cheered. Far too few happy endings out there.
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Reading Progress

03/02 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Hope Your last two paragraphs nail how I felt about reading this book. Well done!

message 2: by Lisette (last edited Nov 30, 2013 01:42PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lisette Hope wrote: "Your last two paragraphs nail how I felt about reading this book. Well done!"

Thank you! I've been sticking to encouraging, brighter-side-of-human-nature books since then, so I actually owe this author thanks: my new resolve to read only uplifting books has left me in a much better mood much more often.

(I still need to update my profile with some of those books, though.)

Hope I kept trying to make myself read it through the last week and into Thanksgiving, when I was definitely under the weather, too, so that probably didn't help any. Always good to say a book isn't worth it. Odd, that's the way I feel about movies, now, too. Like your corroboration of how I was feeling...

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