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Glory Over Everything: Beyond The Kitchen House

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The latest New York Times bestseller from the author of the beloved book club favorite The Kitchen House is a heart racing story about a man’s treacherous journey through the twists and turns of the Underground Railroad on a mission to save the boy he swore to protect. Glory Over Everything is “gripping…breathless until the end” (Kirkus Reviews).

The year is 1830 and Jamie Pyke, a celebrated silversmith and notorious ladies’ man, is keeping a deadly secret. Passing as a wealthy white aristocrat in Philadelphian society, Jamie is now living a life he could never have imagined years before when he was a runaway slave, son of a southern black slave and her master. But Jamie’s carefully constructed world is threatened when he discovers that his married socialite lover, Caroline, is pregnant and his beloved servant Pan, to whose father Jamie owes his own freedom, has been captured and sold into slavery in the South.

Fleeing the consequences of his deceptions, Jamie embarks on a trip to a North Carolina plantation to save Pan from the life he himself barely escaped as a boy. With the help of a fearless slave, Sukey, who has taken the terrified young boy under her wing, Jamie navigates their way, racing against time and their ruthless pursuers through the Virginia backwoods, the Underground Railroad, and the treacherous Great Dismal Swamp.

“Kathleen Grissom is a first-rate storyteller…she observes with an unwavering but kind eye, and she bestows upon the reader, amid terrible secrets and sin, a gift of mercy: the belief that hope can triumph over hell” (Richmond Times Dispatch). Glory Over Everything is an emotionally rewarding and epic novel “filled with romance, villains, violence, courage, compassion…and suspense.” (Florida Courier).

365 pages, Hardcover

First published April 5, 2016

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About the author

Kathleen Grissom

7 books2,991 followers
Born Kathleen Doepker, I was privileged as a child to be raised in Annaheim, Saskatchewan, a hamlet on the plains of Canada. Although we lived in a small, tightly knit Roman Catholic community, I was fortunate to have parents who were open to other religions and cultures. Since television was not a luxury our household could afford, books were the windows that expanded my world.

Soon after Sister Colette, my first grade teacher, introduced me to Dick, Jane, and Sally, I began to read on my own. I was a fanciful child and became so influenced by books that while I was reading Five Little Peppers And How They Grew I ate only cold boiled potatoes (the truth is this lasted only for a day) as I suffered with them through their hardships. After reading Anne Of Green Gables I was convinced that I, too, was adopted, until my mother told me to stop the foolishness and to look in the mirror. I had her nose. She was right. I limped desperately during Red Shoes For Nancy until my sister, Judy, told me to cut it out, people would think that something was wrong with me. Wanting to more closely experience Helen Keller’s tribulations, at every opportunity I walked with closed eyes until I solidly whacked my head on a doorframe. Enid Blynton’s Famous Five series had me looking for adventure around every corner, and when in class Rudyard Kipling’s, Kim, was read aloud, I couldn’t wait to leave for far-off lands.

Throughout my high school years Simon Lizee, a poet of merit, was our principal. He taught us literature and it was he who encouraged me to write.

Upon graduating from high school, as I saw it then, I had four choices. I could marry (no), become a secretary (no), become a teacher (no) become a nurse (yes). After I graduated from nursing school, I left for Montreal and there worked on staff at the Royal Vic Hospital. Eventually I married and came down to the United States. Throughout, I read voraciously and I wrote, often sending my work back to Mr. Lizee in Saskatchewan, who took the time to continue to instruct me.

It wasn’t until after I gave birth to my daughter, Erin, that I finally worked up enough courage to submit a short story to Myrna Blyth, who, I believe at that time was an editor at Family Circle. She sent back a lovely rejection note, telling me that this story was not one that she could use, but could I send others. I took that note to mean that she did not like my writing, but was being kind, and I foolishly submitted nothing further.

In time, I divorced and remarried, relocated to Manhattan, and there worked as an Ad Executive for a graphics company. I did not stop reading, nor writing, and over the next years took various classes in creative writing.

After four years in the city, we decided to try life on a small farm in New Jersey. When our collection of animals grew to include twenty-five Cashmere goats, two horses, three dogs, and two cats, we knew that it was time to relocate to a larger farm in rural Virginia. There we found twenty-seven acres and a large brick house, circa 1830, that once served as a stagecoach stop. But with the move came a glitch. For the first year my husband’s transfer didn’t happen as planned, and although he joined me every weekend, I was left on the new farm to manage on my own. It was an exciting yet frightening time, and I began to journal the experience. I joined a writers' group, and the Piedmont Literary Society, and when I met Eleanor Dolan, a gifted poet, she generously agreed to mentor me in my writing.

In the following years, Charles and I established an herb farm, a tearoom, and a gift shop that we filled to the barn rafters with work from local artisans. As we restored our old plantation home, I began to research the history of our home and the land that surrounded it. Then I discovered the notation ‘Negro Hill’ on an old map. Unable to determine the story of its origin, local historians suggested that

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5 stars
14,988 (43%)
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3,961 (11%)
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177 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,635 reviews
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,849 reviews34.9k followers
January 25, 2016
Sooo GOOD!!!!
JUST ....OH MY GOSH.....***SOOOOOO GOOD***!!!!!!

Anyone who read "The Kitchen House", and found it hard to put down....
(pre-civil war, set on a Southern plantation ....black slaves...with catastrophe after catastrophe), ....will 'not' be disappointed - at all- with "The Glory of Everything".
I think I liked it BETTER!!! The story takes off where "The Kitchen House" ends...
but absolutely this is also a stand alone novel. There were less snowballing- tragedy after tragedy scenes ...allowing more time for deeper character development in this novel. Yet... I loved them both. Kathleen Grissom gives readers a 'golden- escape-reading-treat', with her talents.,

Forgive me... but this novel was just so gripping, luminous, with heavenly gifted
storytelling, I just didn't want to break up my enjoyment to take notes.
However, it's a book to be experience anyway...( details would only be a drop in a bucket, as this book is to be experience).
I can't recommend this book highly enough!!!!!!
Sensitive themes....
Regrets suffered...
Outcasts...slavery, cruelties, emptiness, class, guilt, fear, choices made, dignity, loss,
charmed life, illusions of a charmed life, jealousy, blacks, whites, masters, servants, morality, loyalty, lies and secrets, forgiveness, love. [note: all the important juicy themes which can add up to a 'favorite fiction' read...if written by the right person], which it was.

Standout characters ....James - Pan- Robert- Henri- Caroline

Thank You, Simon & Schuster, Netgalley, and Kathleen Grissom

Profile Image for Angela M (On a little break).
1,270 reviews2,217 followers
March 18, 2016

I jumped at the chance to read an advance copy of this book because of how much I loved The Kitchen House. I was so anxious to get this book that I requested it from two sources just to increase my odds of getting it . I was fortunate enough to receive a digital copy from both and I thank NetGalley and Edelweiss as well as the publisher, Simon & Schuster and Kathleen Grissom.

This is the story of James Burton, or Jamie Pyke as we knew him as a child in the first book. James was raised as white by a woman he believed to be his grandmother but is the son of a slave woman Belle , raped by her master. There are multiple narrators of this story beginning with James and in his sections we learn how he came to be James Burton. While a lot of the book is devoted to his story , this is also the story in the larger sense of the most shameful time in our history. It it through memorable characters who in my view are the real heroes that we get a sense of this horrific time : Henry , a runaway slave , a loving father and good man; Sukey , beautiful Sukey, also a character from the first book , whose story will break your heart and leave you wondering how with such a burden of sorrow she can move forward with strength and heart and do what she does for others ; Pan, Henry's son, a precocious boy always questioning but somehow knowing what is the right thing to do and the brave people along the Underground Railroad - these are the heroes.

It's easy to love , dislike or even hate most of the characters in this book . That is not the case with James . I had mixed feelings throughout about James . Perhaps it's indicative of his complex history and the terrible reality of slavery of which he is a product and in many ways did not have choices early on in his life . It just took much too long for my liking for James to understand what the right thing was. I may have given it 5 stars if in the end James made the right choices before certain circumstances changed that made it easier for him to do so. This can be read as a stand alone but I recommend reading both .
Profile Image for Jen CAN.
465 reviews1,276 followers
April 25, 2016
I have always had a soft spot when it comes to slavery stories. They scream with emotion, of inhumanity, of savagery. Yet, they can also embrace with compassion and love. And although I detest they happened, I'm always compelled to read them and think there is a sliver of truth in all.

In this narrative, a missing negro boy sends Burton, a black man so fair skinned he has been living the life of a white man, on a search back to the southern states where his freedom is threatened from a past he left behind. But return he must, to try and track down the boy who has suspiciously disappeared and is suspected of being enslaved.

The stories cross over. We meet several slaves and whites along this journey. We learn of Burton and how he denied his own ancestry in order to survive in the white Man's world and the truths that threaten to emerge. We learn of forgiveness and acceptance.
The words fly off the page and I was transported back to 1830. Grissom has captured my heart with these characters who have escaped slavery, empowered themselves with education and cherish their freedom above everything. A truly moving 4.5 ★
Profile Image for Candi.
598 reviews4,534 followers
July 18, 2016
"Where, then, did I belong? Was my birth an accident of fate, or was my life intended to have some purpose?"

Jamie Pyke, fair-skinned son of a slave named Belle and a cruel master named Marshall, ran from his Virginian plantation home, his heritage and his fate at the age of thirteen. James Burton, wealthy Philadelphia businessman and heir to the silversmith shop and fortune of his kindly adoptive parents, has spent his teen years and adulthood hiding his former identity. When James falls for a beautiful white woman of high social standing, his secret is threatened. The disappearance of his devoted servant, Pan, presents a moral dilemma to James. Pan’s father, Henry, who once rescued James in his time of need, begs James to search for his son whom he believes has been abducted and sold into slavery in the south. But can James risk returning to a region where his identity could be revealed and his life placed at risk?

Glory Over Everything, sequel to The Kitchen House, is a gripping and well-crafted novel that kept me turning the pages despite frequent vacation distractions. Multiple, alternating first person narratives are employed throughout the book. I liked this technique as it allowed me to learn a great deal more about the innermost thoughts of those characters that perhaps, due to their circumstances, would otherwise be less illuminated. James is a very conflicted individual and at times could be unlikable. Even with the knowledge that Belle’s blood flowed through his veins, he could not reconcile himself to the fact that he was anything other than a white man. At the same time, it was not completely lost on him that those who were there for him in his times of greatest need were in fact black men and women of tremendous principles and trustworthy character. Men and women like Henry, Robert, Sukey, and the people of the Underground Railroad will capture your heart and give you faith in humanity despite the fact that men like the ruthless slave tracker Rankin and despicable slave owner Bill Thomas exist. The fearless and independent-minded Miss Adelaide quickly became a favorite new character! I would love to see more of her – I would be thrilled if Ms. Grissom decided to expand upon her in another installment. Pan is another for whom I felt a soft spot, not unlike that which James perhaps perceived in his heart as well. I would be interested to learn how the relationship continues to change between Pan and James. Pan, who looked up to James as a sort of heroic figure, sees James falter and therefore betray the image he once had of him. Can James make amends and come to terms with his own identity?

I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction and anyone that appreciates stories of human triumph. There is a great deal of tension and a bit of nail-biting as the plot reaches a climax. The characters, however, are what truly crown this novel, in my opinion. There are some coincidences that seemed slightly unlikely, and I found the ending to be a little rushed and perhaps a tad bit too tidy, causing me to deduct one star from my review. While this is a stand-alone novel, I recommend that you read The Kitchen House first, in order to gain a better perspective on the background of some of the characters. I look forward to reading whatever Kathleen Grissom has in store for us next!

"We all carry burdens from our past, but it is not for others to exploit them."
Profile Image for Jaline.
444 reviews1,586 followers
July 18, 2017
”I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person now I was free. There was such a glory over everything. The sun came up like gold through the trees, and I felt like I was in heaven.” – Harriet Tubman

This beautiful quote introduces the sequel to The Kitchen House. Glory Over Everything is an apt title as this book is ultimately about freedom from slavery and freedom from its stigma. It is narrated with smoothly rotating chapters between James, Caroline, Pan, and Sukey.

James’ mother is a mulatto and his father was white. When he fled the south for Philadelphia he was only 13 years old and scared. Henry, an escaped slave, saved his life and set him on his way to live a white man’s life where his fortunes took a very positive turn. He meets Caroline, the daughter of influential Philadelphians, and falls deeply in love. However, their romance is doomed. She is already married, and he has secrets to hide.

Pan, Henry’s 12 year old son, is abducted by slave traffickers and put on a ship destined for the Deep South. Henry pleads for James’ help in recovering him and James goes, partly to recover from a bad situation and partly because he knows that he owes Henry a huge debt for saving his life when he was young.

From here, the story becomes darker and so filled with frightening and horrific events that I could hardly read fast enough. My heart was literally pounding in places, and felt like it was breaking to pieces in other places. There are times when all hope of escaping their predicaments seemed impossible, and there are times when the unlikeliest of souls turned out to be angels of assistance in disguise.

These two books, The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything, are truly important books. They tell stories that are both familiar and new; stories that are heartbreaking and uplifting. They tell stories of taking strides toward freedom and the cost for some as well as the triumph for others.

”I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person now I was free. There was such a glory over everything. The sun came up like gold through the trees, and I felt like I was in heaven.” – Harriet Tubman

The same as the opening quote, yet with lifetimes more in meaning.
Profile Image for Lori Elliott (semi-hiatus) .
715 reviews1,754 followers
March 3, 2016
I really enjoyed this but not as much as The Kitchen House. I adored Pan and would love to see a follow up to his story down the road. This can be read as a stand alone novel but recommend reading, or even, rereading The Kitchen House first. 4 stars.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
350 reviews388 followers
August 25, 2016
I truly enjoyed The Kitchen House and was thrilled to have the opportunity to read this book. Dare I say I this is a case where the sequel is better than the original?

Told through the perspectives of several narrators, Grissom tells the story of a family woven together (and torn apart) by the horrors of slavery in 1830's America. As in Grissom's earlier work, it's a plot-driven novel with many compelling and interconnected story lines. Though the book borders on melodrama, it is engaging, and I personally found it to be more moving than The Underground Railroad.

"Glory"'s characters are memorable -- even the loathsome ones. The female leads are particular firecrackers.

While providing a tidy enough ending for this book, Grissom has also left the door wide open for a third installment in the series. This fan is hoping the books keep on coming.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for a galley of the book in exchange for an honest review. While I was provided a galley I listened to the audio version.
Profile Image for Britany.
941 reviews415 followers
August 13, 2016
I'm on a role with my ratings recently and this one is no different. I started reading it on my trip to CA, but couldn't get into it. Started it again once I was back and I couldn't put it down. Glory picks up after The Kitchen House and follows Jamie Pyke as he navigates life after escaping Rankin, Master Marshall, and the plantation he lived on. Jamie lives as a white man, painting for a living, and enjoying the perks of a socialite in Philadelphia. It all changes when his secret parentage is revealed and the race begins.

I loved this one so much more than The Kitchen House-- how is that even possible? The story was elaborate and detailed. I enjoyed meeting all of the new characters and found myself rooting for them to overcome their obstacles. The final third, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out how Grissom would end this one. Would they make it? Who would survive this haunting tale of slavery and freedom? How would it end? I was satisfied with the ending and hope that Grissom continues with telling us Addy's story next.

Profile Image for Chris.
718 reviews89 followers
March 18, 2022
I loved The Kitchen House, Grissom's first novel and this one is maybe even better!! I don't know why it took me so long to get to it. Some reviewers had referred to this as a sequel, but it could definitely be read as a standalone novel. However, you would be missing out on an excellent read if you missed her first.
I was fully engaged in this story of Jamie Burton nee Pyke. We meet Jamie as a successful & wealthy businessman in Philadelphia in 1830, but he is harboring a life-changing secret. Jamie was raised white on a plantation in Virginia by his Grandmother who he always thought was his mother. At about 13 he discovered that his mother was actually one of the slave women, and his father, who he thought was his brother (are you following this?) despising him finally decides to sell him into slavery. Jamie ends up murdering his father and runs away. He has never reconciled himself to his heritage when we meet him and although it is a black man who saves his life and moves him towards a life as a white man, he cannot see any part of himself as black and still harbors much of the superior thinking of the day that was drummed into him by his "mother". The story is told from his POV for almost half of the novel, but the second half where much of the action and evolution of Jamie occurs, we hear from 3 other characters and their worldview is an important one.
Jamie will journey back to the south and it will be a harrowing and heartsick venture.

I am curious about why the author chose the voice of Caroline to add to the mix but not Robert, who I was so curious as to his own thoughts and devotion to Jamie no matter what.
Profile Image for ☮Karen.
1,449 reviews9 followers
September 17, 2016
Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an egalley. I chose to listen to a finished audio copy.

Jamie Pike from The Kitchen House is now James Burton, wealthy silversmith and artist of Philadelphia. I think I liked this more than the original, even though I've given them both 4 stars. There are some wonderful characters that we get to know, and James, although very well formed and sympathetic, was probably my least favorite, when compared to the truly great (and not as well formed) Robert, Pan, Addy, and Sukie. I greatly appreciated the ease in following the chapters (each told us what year it was and whose point of view was up). Gradually I was completely absorbed and taken by the story, which had some sad moments and heartbreak, some close calls, death as well as new life, and with the Underground Railroad perhaps some hope for the future.

I think the author could very well continue the story even more, but it sounds like that's not in the cards, which is sadly our loss.
Profile Image for Dorie  - Cats&Books :) .
960 reviews2,563 followers
December 11, 2015
Even though this book is not due out until next April I just had to read it as soon as I was approved. I was granted an ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am a huge fan of Kathleen Grissom. I loved The Kitchen House and purchased it for several members of my family. I was absolutely thrilled that she wrote this follow up.

I was not disappointed. The story picks up many years after the The Kitchen House and we follow the life of Jaime Pyke who has moved to Philadelphia. He has been passing as “white” and is a well established silver smith who eventually owns his own shop and home. He was fortunate enough to have a silversmith who took him in and trained him in the art. I was glad that the author provided back story to Jaime’s life as it has been quite some time since I read The Kitchen House.

When he is approached by Henry, a free black who helped him rise and become successful, to help him find and return his son Pan, he shows his integrity and gratitude by agreeing to search for Pan.

The story does go back and forth in time and is told in different points of view, and since I wasn’t able to finish it in one or two sittings, I did find myself having to go back and read pages again but that was just my situation at the time.

It was almost painful for me to revisit the plantation with the characters of Master Marshall and the horrid Rankin who terribly mistreated the slaves even to the point of whipping some to death. But we also are reminded of Miss Lavinia who was so kind and even taught Jaime to read and write. The atmosphere and settings are very well described as are all of the characters.
The later flight to freedom was the most intense part of the book for me. The book kept reminding of the issues still concerning racism in our country.

You do not have to have read The Kitchen House to enjoy this book. The author provides a lot of background to all of the characters. But I do encourage you to read the first book, it is a wonderful work of historical fiction.
Profile Image for Connie G.
1,645 reviews433 followers
October 26, 2019
Jamie Pyke, the son of a mean plantation owner and a biracial slave, had been raised by his grandmother in the plantation mansion as a white child. When he became 13 years old, his father planned to sell him into slavery. Jamie escaped to the North, but was in poor health when he reached Philadelphia. He was befriended by Henry, a former slave who cared for him until he regained his health. Henry knew that slave owners never stop looking for fugitives, and urged Jamie to pass for white. Jamie apprentices with Mr Burton, a silversmith, who eventually adopts him. Jamie became an artist, gifted as both a silversmith and a painter of the natural world, especially birds. He became involved with a white woman, but was afraid to tell her about his heritage.

Henry's young son, Pan, is kidnapped at the Philadelphia docks and is sold into slavery in North Carolina. Henry begs Jamie to help him find the boy. Jamie and Henry's trip to the South is frightening because they could also be captured by the slave catchers.

The book is narrated by multiple men and women--black, white, and biracial. Jamie has to reconcile his double identities as a white man and a black man. He used his light skin and education to save himself from a life of slavery. He realizes that many black men and women saved his life as he made the harrowing trip to the North, and that he is now in a position where he can help others escape.

"Glory Over Everything" is a fast-paced novel with well-developed, vivid characters in dangerous situations. It's a compelling story that would work well for a book discussion group.
Profile Image for Book Concierge.
2,709 reviews325 followers
May 17, 2016
Grissom’s debut - The Kitchen House - became a runaway hit via word-of-mouth and book club recommendations. This book follows one of the characters in the first book over several decades.

There is a good story idea here – Jamie / James is a “runaway” slave who is so light-skinned as to be able to pass for white, and he makes a success of himself in Philadelphia. When the young Negro boy he has taken into his household disappears, the boy’s father pleads with James to go to the south and retrieve the boy. James hires people to search for the boy, but is distracted by his own troubles – an indiscretion threatens to reveal his secret and destroy the life he has built.

There are a number of twists and turn in the plot and Grissom keeps the action moving forward. There are scenes that had me on the edge of my seat. I was caught up in the story and wanted to know how things would turn out, and how the characters would fare. However …

Grissom uses multiple narrators. This is not an easy technique to employ successfully. Grissom has said in numerous interviews that her characters “spoke” to her, and revealed the story in their own way. But the result is that there is less cohesion in the story-telling. The ending felt rushed to me. There was so much danger and uncertainty even 30 pages from the ending, and while there is some ambiguity (not a bad thing given the story arc) about what will happen in the future, it seemed to me that Grissom was trying too hard to wrap things up with a pretty bow.

In summary, it’s a good story and kept me turning pages, but the writing fell short. It earns a solid 3 stars.


Profile Image for Eliza.
593 reviews1,380 followers
June 10, 2019
Actual: 3.5/5

GLORY OVER EVERYTHING starts on a strong note, as it feels very much like The Kitchen House. Only, the characters are not the same even if the story continues from what happened in The Kitchen House; however, the main character is a child from the previous book, so it was interesting to see where he ended up with his life. At least, it was to me, given little Jamie murdered someone in the previous book.

That said, I wasn't a fan of the characters. With the previous book in this "series" (it's not really a series - the books can be read out of order), I enjoyed reading through Belle's and Lavinia's perspective. In this novel, reading through James's, Pan's, and occasionally Sukey's perspective wasn't as entertaining. Their voices sounded too similar? I can't quite place what it is. Therefore, even though I thought the story was interesting, my lack of attachment to the characters left me feeling less than impressed.

If anyone is deciding whether to read this novel or The Kitchen House first, I recommend reading this one last. They can be read in any order, though the correct order WOULD be to read this last. Either way, I just don't think this novel is nearly as strong as its predecessor. Still. The story is gripping and the historical aspect feels researched and accurate. It's an enjoyable read, nonetheless, especially since you get to see all the characters and their stories cross paths.
Profile Image for Shelagh Rice.
108 reviews17 followers
August 18, 2016
This is a wonderful book. I really enjoyed the The Kitchen House and I loved this one. You can read it as a standalone but I found it richer having read The Kitchen House first. A black man, son of the Master raised as white by his grandmother. It's 1830 and he is living as a white man constantly looking over his shoulder fearing discovery. When a long time debt that needs to be repayed brings him back to the south it becomes fraught with danger, secrets and difficult memories. This book is engaging from the start, historically accurate, often brutal, emotionally charged, a page turner of the highest order and superbly inspirational. You don't often get all that in one book. My favourite book of the year so far. It will stay with me for a long time. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine).
189 reviews219 followers
April 1, 2016
“I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person now I was free. There was such a glory over everything. The sun came up like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven.”

-Harriet Tubman

I absolutely loved The Kitchen House and was thrilled when I heard Kathleen Grissom was writing a sequel. Though Glory Over Everything: Beyond the Kitchen House is a stand-alone novel, I highly recommend reading The Kitchen House if you haven’t already.

James Burton (formerly Jamie Pyke) is passing as a wealthy white Philadelphia silversmith who has denied his true identity for many years after fleeing Tall Oaks, the Virginia planation where he was raised. He has fallen in love with Caroline, a white woman from a wealthy family. She becomes pregnant and he intends to tell her his secret, fearing that it will become obvious to all when the child is born. But before he gets the opportunity, his beloved servant, Pan, is captured and brought to the South to be sold into slavery. James embarks on a dangerous journey to save Pan, the son a friend to whom he owed his very life.

I really liked this book but I’m not sure I loved quite as much as The Kitchen House. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why. I loved Pan’s character and wanted to jump into the story to protect him myself. In fact, all of the characters were crafted with the same depth and complexity as those I grew to love in The Kitchen House. Perhaps I simply had a difficult time reconciling certain aspects of James’s character. For example, while I could understand his reasons for wanting to maintain his identity as a white man, I took offense at his disdain toward slaves. That’s all I’ll say about that. There are other examples but I don’t want to include any spoilers. On the other hand, there are characters I absolutely adored. For example, the young but formidable Adelaide Spencer. She is the teen daughter of the man who owns the property adjacent to where Pan is being held. She’s a young woman of conviction; someone I would like to believe I would have been like had I lived in those times.

Kathleen Grissom has told us another beautiful story. Even when the story is full of unimaginable pain and hardship, she has a unique way of weaving in enough snippets of the good in humanity, and the awesome strength of good people working together, to prevent us from losing all hope.

4.25/5 stars

Thanks to Simon & Schuster via NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Please visit my blog to read more of my reviews.
Profile Image for Connie Cox.
286 reviews180 followers
July 30, 2017
I was delighted to learn what becomes of Jamie from The Kitchen House. He is now James Burke, passing for a white man and ends up doing quite well for himself, though he continues to hide the secret of his parentage. This makes him somewhat of a cold fish in my opinion, and so I had trouble "liking" him. Yet, Grissom makes him a believable character, like him or not. A man with a constant struggle of who he really is and a conflict of what is right and wrong. I felt he did not really know who he was until he chances a return to his childhood South in search of young Pan. There he is forced to make hard decisions, let go of his secrets and fears and come to terms with who he was, or rather who he was going to let himself be. I was a bit miffed that it seemed to take him so long and several poor decisions to do so.

As much as I did not care for James, I loved so many of the secondary characters. Pan was a delight to meet, full of the adoration and wonder of youth, until he sees first hand how cruel life could be. Yet he always seemed to see some joy. I especially attached myself to the stoic Henry, the loyal and wise Robert as well as the feisty and ahead of her time Adelaide. For me these characters were much more comfortable in their skin than James/Jamie. They were who they were and their richness came to life for me.

Grissom fulfilled my hopes of life after The Kitchen House. The next chapter of a horrible part of history and how the struggles of slavery continued. Her writing is beautiful and takes me to the scenes she sets. I can see a continuation of this story with some of the younger characters but as this left me with a sense of hope I am not sure I need more.
Profile Image for ♥ Sandi ❣	.
1,215 reviews
April 19, 2020
WOW!!! Jamie, Sukey, Belle, Henry, the Tall Oakes plantation - they are all revisited and brought back to life.
This book centers on Jamie Pyke - now known as James Burton - who is passing himself off as a white man. He is adopted by a loving family that once gone leaves him not only a grand house, with servants, but a profitable silver shop, the same one that he apprenticed in. As a favor to Henry, James takes in his son Pan as kitchen help. Upon finding his aristocrat girlfriend pregnant, Jamie's life changes and before he can reveal to Catherine his true identity Pan, trying to do a good deed at the docks, manages to get stolen by slave traders. Henry and Jamie go on the hunt for Pan. James ends up back in the Tall Oakes area where he knows he is still being sought as a runaway. With help from Sukey and a neighboring plantation owner James and Pan are swiftly moved into the Underground Railroad.
This book brought back so much of the The Kitchen House, a book I dearly loved. The writing is superb, the research for the factual basis of this book is flawless. Once open and in your hands you cannot stop reading. Character development is very good, plot design believable.
As told to me by the author, Jamie would not stop talking to her. I am so thankful. I loved every word of this book.
And now with the introduction of baby Catherine and baby Kit...the story can continue....
Profile Image for Bam cooks the books ;-).
1,789 reviews213 followers
December 6, 2016
In Glory over Everything: Beyond The Kitchen House, Kathleen Grissom continues the story of James Pyke, one of the characters from The Kitchen House. James is the son of the Tall Oaks plantation owner and one of his slaves, raised as white by his paternal grandmother, who escapes the South just as he is about to be sold as a slave.

James makes it to Philadelphia where he is helped by Henry, an older escaped slave who lives in fear himself of being recaptured and returned to the South. Henry encourages the thirteen year old to find a job and pass as white. James, who is something of an artist, is able to apprentice with a silversmith and begin a new life.

Years later, Henry approaches the now wealthy James 'Burton' to take in his motherless son, Pan, and give him a safe place to live, work and perhaps receive an education. When Pan later goes missing, Henry fears that he has been abducted by slavers and taken south. Will James be brave enough to go back to attempt a rescue of the young boy everyone is so fond of?

Grissom weaves a fascinating story around these characters and others and explores some tough questions about racial attitudes and prejudices. Take a thrilling ride on the underground railroad!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher for taking part in a survey. Many thanks for the opportunity.
Profile Image for Laurie • The Baking Bookworm.
1,346 reviews355 followers
April 8, 2016
Long time readers of my blog may remember that I loved Kathleen Grissom's book, The Kitchen House when I read it back in January 2012. It was a beautifully written emotional and gritty story about slavery. It's also a book that I frequently suggest to friends, family and customers at the library where I work who want a riveting historical fiction read.

Well, Grissom has done it again. In Glory Over Everything, the sequel to The Kitchen House, Grissom brings back some of her beloved characters and weaves a new story that was even more riveting and hard to put down than the first book. I actually stayed up well after 1am to finish it.

Yes, I loved, loved, LOVED this book.

Glory Over Everything is a page-turner and has Grissom's captivating writing style and characters who seem to come to life before you. It follows the life of Jamie Pyke as he makes a new life in Philadelphia while trying to hide a secret that could destroy all that he has built. When someone to whom he owes a large debt comes for his help Jamie realizes he must return to the south and face a very uncertain future with potentially dire consequences. The story is told once again via multiple narrators and is a fast-paced read that not only focuses on race, slavery and the Underground Railroad but also on family ties and how one’s upbringing continues to influence us.

While this is considered a sequel to The Kitchen House, and includes several characters from that book, it can also be read as a standalone. But I think you'd be missing out if you didn't read The Kitchen House first. Reading the first book will give the reader a more in depth understanding of Jamie and some of the other characters' histories, the reasons for their actions and their deeply rooted fears. But for those of you who want to jump right into this book, Grissom explains enough of the background of these characters for the new-to-Grissom reader to grasp the older story lines.

The only issue that I had with this book is that there were some rather unlikely (and too convenient) ways some characters met up in the book. Out of all the plantations in all the state Pan just happened to meet up with someone Jamie knew? Not quite believable but I loved seeing some of the characters from The Kitchen House so much that I didn't dwell on it.

Some reviews of The Kitchen House complained about the brutal descriptions of the abuse of slaves. (It was a brutal time and I personally like that Grissom didn't sugar-coat anything.) While Glory Over Everything still deals with slavery I didn't find it to have such vivid descriptions of what life was like as a slave compared to the first book. There are still some gritty scenes but Grissom focuses quite a bit on the intense fear of being thrown back into slavery that many free slaves struggled with on a daily basis.

The secondary characters all play pivotal roles in the plot and are each quite engaging with Jamie's butler, Robert, being my favourite. Jamie himself was an okay character. You witness his struggles and fears but I wasn't fond of his self-loathing and doubt.

With complex characters, a gripping and often intense plot and emotional scenes Glory Over Everything is one of my favourite books of 2016 so far. It is filled with scenes of human endurance, strength, love, violence, betrayal, family loyalty, courage and the power of hope. That's a whole lot of emotion wrapped up into one book but Grissom is a master at writing gripping novels featuring characters that stay with her readers long after the last page is turned.

Highly recommended.

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

** This review, as well as hundreds more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (thebakingbookworm.blogspot.ca) where I also share my favourite tried and true recipes. **
Profile Image for Deacon Tom F.
1,648 reviews124 followers
October 1, 2021
“Glory of Everything” by Kathleen Grissom” is a touching tale of oppressed people, black and white surrounding the Antebellum South.

Strong themes like love, survival, friendship, pain and loss abound. Additionally, this very detailed book excels in strong characterization.

To me, It would make quite a good adventure movie with lots of tension and emotional stress.

The pace is super, I became hooked up very early and stay that way until the last word—hard to put the book down.

I highly recommend this wonderful story
1,541 reviews80 followers
August 25, 2016
Mix race ancestry, free black children and the constant threat of slave catchers kidnapping people off the streets of Philadelphia, this story pursues the urgent need to reclaim a black boy kidnapped and sold into southern slavery even at the risk of becoming a victim oneself. This was just a bit too predictable. The voices of the various narrators never sounded authentic, but rather as amateur approximations of parody. And, there were simply too many coincidences necessary to advance the plot for my taste.
Profile Image for Elvan.
641 reviews2 followers
February 15, 2016
Glory Over Everything: Beyond The Kitchen House as the name implies is a continuation of Kathleen Grissom’s The Kitchen House, a story of plantation life in the 19th century. In Kitchen House, we followed the cruelty of slave owners and their overseers through the eyes of the young Irish indentured servant, Lavinia. Several characters introduced in the first book are mentioned in “Glory” but the main focus lies with young Jaime Pyke, a boy raised in the big house at Tall Oaks, assuming he was white until his heritage was revealed and he escaped the plantation before being sold into slavery.

In Glory Over Everything we watch James grow up and find a home with a silversmith’s family, the Burtons in Philadelphia. Throughout his time mixing with the upper class he continues to hide his identity. Pan, a small boy James agrees to take on as a house servant is kidnapped by unscrupulous slavers down at the town docks. His father begs James (now a Burton) to help him find his son.

I found this second novel was slow to start and I struggled to stay interested in the upper-class life in which James finds himself. The story drifted very close to melodrama as James navigated the murky waters of the wealthy and attempted to keep secrets from prospective wives and their families. I wasn’t that interested in the chapters told from Pan’s point of view as they just repeated much of what James chapters revealed. The three dimensional characters and resulting emotional attachments seen in The Kitchen House are lacking in this novel. The book does improve when James finally sets off to search for Pan and we are once again introduced to Sukey. Her voice and her story save the novel from being a drawing-room bore.

There were parts of the story I enjoyed. I was impressed once again with the research Ms. Grissom puts into her novels. From the simplicity of fine ladies vinaigrettes to descriptions of The Great Dismal Swamp the reader is transported back in time. Once again she builds tension and suspense surrounding the cruel treatment of slaves on southern plantations. It is hard to read and important to remember. So too is it important to learn about the kindness extended by Quakers and other sympathizers along the underground railway.

I found this novel to be a poor cousin to The Kitchen House but I am glad I was given the chance to once again visit some of the characters I grew to love in the first novel.

ARC received from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley for review.
Profile Image for TamElaine.
260 reviews
July 9, 2016
Huge love and gratitude to Netgalley, Kathleen Grissom, Simon & Shuster, for providing me with this incredible book that consumed my life for a couple of days and will continue to occupy a piece of my heart and mind for a long time to come....

The Glory over Everything gets 5 bursting-at-the-seams stars from me, for the beautiful characters who stole my heart, for the fast pace, for the comfortable flow of the written words and dialect, for the intensity of the plot, the personal growth of the characters, the hint of a changing society, and the emotion it pulled from me (and let me tell you, there are two separate lines within the final couple of chapters that took me by surprise and made me gasp, cry outright and then sob !)

My only criticism (and please take this as a huge compliment too!) is that I wanted more of Pan !

Ms. Grissom, I hope to see plenty more from you. I wonder if it might be in your plans to turn these two beautiful books, The Kitchen House and The Glory over Everything into a saga that brings us up to present day over several more books? I, for one, would be among the first in line to pick up subsequent books.
Profile Image for Marleen.
1,721 reviews95 followers
September 7, 2016
Glory Over Everything is the exquisite and very praiseworthy second book by author Kathleen Grissom. After The Kitchen House, I knew that I would love (love-love-love) anything she produced. I’m glad she decided to write a story that picks up where the Kitchen House left off. Still, it’s important to acknowledge that this is not a sequel – it’s more of a parallel story, a little further in time - and I loved every page of it. Kathleen Grissom keeps on amazing me with her gift of simple but splendid story-telling. It’s difficult to explain, but the time you spend with her words, you are literally transported into the story with so much pull, that when the book’s finished, you are simply left bereft.
The story of Jamie Pike, son of Tall Oaks plantation owner Marshall and Belle, a slave, is quite extraordinary. After escaping the South, Jamie’s white countenance makes it so he can start a new life in Philadelphia without too much suspicion, and for awhile, he has a very settled life there. He is a true gentleman, and behaves totally in sync with his white upbringing and the moral code of the time. When his beloved young servant Pan has been stolen and sold as a slave, Jamie can’t ignore his debt to Henry, Pan’s father, and travels south in order to rescue young Pan from his ordeal. It is that journey, filled with danger, but also with the unexpected assistance from various courageous people, that, in time, brings Jamie to recognize who he really is and where he came from.
Again, I applaud the author for being able to render the imagery of that particular time so vividly. The living conditions of African Americans in the south in the 1830-ies are so well told, that it leaves you thinking and reflecting. I have to say, I like it when books do that.
The audiobook is fantastically narrated by: Santino Fontana, Heather Alicia Simms, Madeleine Maby, Kyle Beltran.
You guessed it, this is a highly recommendable read.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,686 reviews14k followers
April 19, 2016
Slavery, such an abhorrent institution, the thought that one person can own another and that they feel they have that right is horrifying. While reading this I couldn't help but ask myself if I had been raised during this time what would I have thought. Would I have had the courage to defy convention, become part of the underground railroad? I certainly hope so. There is much cruelty within these pages, but much kindness too, from the least expected places at times.

But it is the characters that made this story for me. Jamie, raised as white only learning of his black heritage as a teen, when he has to, run away. Just loved young Pip and his father Henry, whose fear of slavery made him ever watchful, fearful. Robert, a black man, a man I would wish on my side no matter the circumstance and Adelaide, a young Southern girl, who is a handful, opinionated and wonderful. There is much on race of course, the differing opinions, degrees of acceptance, even in the North where slavery was not supposed to be accepted. But laws can be enacted, doesn't mean everyone will change their thinking. A book that at times left me breathless, angry, a book filled with emotion.

The ending felt a bit too good to be true, a little much but I still immensely enjoyed this book. The world as a whole still has such a long way to go despite the fact that we have come a long way from the days of slavery. Or have we? Something to think about.

ARC from Netgalley.
Profile Image for April (Getting Hygge With It).
102 reviews1,487 followers
October 27, 2017
Oh gosh. I'm so glad I got to continue on with some of the characters from The Kitchen House. Again, SO MUCH happened in this short book. How can she pack so much in without it seeming overkill? Loved it - not as much as The Kitchen House but I think that would be impossible to top.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
861 reviews
January 20, 2019
"Confirming her extraordinary storytelling talent, Kathleen Grissom has written a novel that is a thriller, a tragic love story, and an inspiring testament to our essential need for freedom that casts "glory over everything."
-Quote from back of book.

"This exciting story of danger, fear, cruelty, loyalty, and enduring love brings alive some of the worst in our history and some of the best."
-Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek

I enjoyed the novel THE KITCHEN HOUSE by Kathleen Grissom and was excited to listen to GLORY OVER EVERYTHING: Beyond The KITCHEN House read by Santino Fontana with Kyle Beltran, Madeleine Maby, and Heather Alicia Simms.
Glory Over Everything continues the story of Jamie Pyke, son of the master of Tall Oakes plantation and his kitchen slave, and although it is written to be read as a standalone, I recommend that you read THE KITCHEN HOUSE first.
James Pyke uses the alias Smith in Philadelphia and is later adopted by his employer Mr. Burton. We meet the lovely Mrs. Burton and their butler, Robert. Jamie Burton is doing well at the silversmith business and is saddened by his adopted father's death.
He passes as a wealthy white aristocrat in Philadelphia. James' secret identity and life are threatened when he must travel back to the South to fulfill his promise to Henry and rescue Henry's son Pan who has been kidnapped and sold into slavery. James is still being hunted as an escaped slave.

##########Spoiler Alert ############

Pan is unprepared for the brutal life of the slave quarters. Sukey, a compassionate nurse makes plans to help Pan escape through the Underground Railroad. James locates Pan and Sukey just as the slave hunters are closing in on him. The three of them make a run for freedom, but there is a grave price to pay.
There is much more to this story, but I will let you find out for yourself when you read the novel. 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Laura.
811 reviews237 followers
August 26, 2016
Enjoyable read. I may not have liked it as well as The Kitchen House but I did like it very much. I loved the multi-narrators. Some things were a little too neat and coincidental in regards to the plot.
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