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The Kitchen House

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  187,449 Ratings  ·  16,260 Reviews
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, t ...more
Paperback, 369 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by Touchstone (first published January 1st 2010)
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ANITA MARIA I must admit, I grew up in the country and we in fact had an outhouse/privy. The smell was absolutely atrocious; therefore I can honestly see them…moreI must admit, I grew up in the country and we in fact had an outhouse/privy. The smell was absolutely atrocious; therefore I can honestly see them hiding a body in there and no-one noticed. I'll about to get graphic here...maggots were common in there, so the body very likely quickly deteriorated, in addition to the fecal matter, there wasn't much left. Back then pig pens were strategically placed close by, coupled with the smell of the pigs and the slop, the odor was greatly masked and became normal (if that smell actually ever becomes normal). (less)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Kathleen Grissom had the raw materials for a rich and powerful historical novel. Her writing is good, if a little drawn out at times. She has an interesting angle with the orphaned Irish immigrant girl put to work among the slaves. So why did it fall short? I think Grissom slipped too easily into stereotypes and melodrama and never got out of that rut. When you have too many tragic or shocking things happen to too many characters, it becomes predictable and numbs the reader. I started losing tra ...more
♥ Marlene♥
I had sorted this book as literature on my shelf well it is definitely not literature but more cheap sensational stuff based on stereotypes.

While reading this book this is what I wrote:
"I am not liking this book. It feels like the books I read when I was a teen and had nothing good to read. It is too much. Too much sorrow and everything goes wrong. Now she is going to make life changing decisions because of lack of communication. If there is something I dislike it is that in books.

I meant by tha
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely wonderful narration!  This was definitely a winner for me because of its awesome narrators who made this such an entertaining and enjoyable read!  I must say this is the first audiobook that I have thoroughly enjoyed and was captivated from start to finish.

THE KITCHEN HOUSE by KATHLEEN GRISSOM is a very touching, powerful, gripping, heart-wrenching, and a beautifully written Historical Fiction novel which is set on a plantation in the antebellum South that grabbed my listening ears ri
Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book! It deserves more than 5 stars. Truly, I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up until the early hours of the morning because I had to finish this story. It’s been ages since I have been that engrossed in a book, or that affected by a story for that matter. There aren’t words to describe the emotions you feel while reading this.
I have to give credit to the author’s wonderful talent for being able to render such an unvarnished, yet grippingly beautiful tale of life on a southern p
Gloria Bernal
Apr 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone, especially history lovers
Recommended to Gloria by: Amazon
Shelves: favorites
An amazing first novel!

Author Kathleen Grissom's debut novel about slavery in the South in the late 1700's, early 1800's is one of the best out this year. This thought-provoking look at life on a tobacco plantation in that era both shocks us and draws us into the souls of these compelling characters, the white owners, the black slaves, and the little white girl who is brought in as an indentured servant, with whom we "experience" her growth into womanhood. Totally believable and thoroughly resea
I really debated what rating to give this book. In terms of keeping me turning the pages, it was riveting, and I had a hard time putting it down. The story of Lavinia, the young Irish orphan who was raised by a family of plantation slaves, had me laughing and crying out loud at times.
My main problem with the book, however, was that the author never seemed to go past the plot and what was happening to the characters externally. Because of this, they often came across as a little shallow and unde
Pamela Huxtable
Jan 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Pamela by: Awesome members book club
If books can be compared to movies, this is a Lifetime movie. Tragedy after tragedy occurs; we have unaknowledged illegitimate biracial children, sexual abuse of children,rape, sexual assault, drug use. And the author also puts in the particular tragedies of pre-Civil War Virginia, including abuse and murder of slaves, mistreatment of slaves, the breaking of families by slave owners, starvation and overworking of the slaves. Plus mental illness. Oh, there's incest, too. And did I mention spousal ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2017-completed
From the Author’s notes: The only time the work came to a standstill was when the characters took me to an event or a place where I had not yet done my research. I tried on a number of occasions to change some of the events (those that I found profoundly disturbing), but the story would stop when I did that, so I forged ahead to write what was revealed.

Antebellum history has been covered numerous times and from numerous angles, just like WWI and WWII history. And yet, no matter how many times we
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Stories set in the South during the time of slavery are always a difficult read. The Kitchen House is no exception. However, the story told here is not all tragedy. There is also hope, friendship, and love in this story.

The Kitchen House is told from two points of view. Lavinia, a young Irish girl who is now an indentured servant, and Belle, a young black slave, who is half while. Lavinia, is seven years old, when she is orphaned when her parents die during passage by boat. The Captain, takes he
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not recommended
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Most of my friends
I should have loved this; 1st novel, Canadian author, great reviews, southern historical fiction, I was stoked. Maybe that was my problem; overly high expectations the kiss of death. I'll attempt to explain why I rated it so low:

• Boring protagonist; weepy, passive women just irritate me now. I used to be more tolerant; I’ll put this down to aging...
• I read similar books when I was younger, nothing fresh here
• It's a pager turner but the plot was pretty obvious; good story that I wish hadn't m

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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
More about Kathleen Grissom...
“Could I be your girl, too?" I asked quickly.
The large, broad-shouldered man looked away before he answered. "Well, now," he said, as though he had given it deep thought, "I sure do think I would like that."
"But," I said, concerned that he hadn't noticed, "I don't look like your other girls."
"You mean because you white?"
I nodded.
"Abinia," he said, pointing toward the chickens, "you look at those birds. Some of them be brown, some of them be white and black. Do you think when they little chicks, those mamas and papas care about that?”
“[Y]et, I wondered why Marshall did not at least attempt a kiss. In many ways, his treatment of me reminded me of the way I had behaved toward the doll that Mamma Mae had given me as a child. I favored it so that I had refused myself of the joy of playing with it, daring to love it only with my eyes. But in doing so, I had denied myself its very purpose.” 31 likes
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