Mary's Reviews > The Kitchen House

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
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Wonderful. Truly, amazingly wonderful!! I cannot say more about this story because my heart is so saddened by events that I have read and because I know history to be truthful. The Kitchen House tells of a time, more than just a hundred years ago, when whole families were captured, shackled, and sold. To be seperated forever. Then, if one was fortunate enough, one could toil and slave along side a family member in tobacco or cotton fields. If one was really lucky and did all the right things, one was selected to work indoors cooking, cleaning, at the beckon call of his/her owner. At night, when the Master and Mistress of the Big House has given permission, one could then rejoin the family members that remained in the designated slave quarters, often with little to eat or too tired to stand, only a cot to sleep on. If one was a woman slave, nights were often spent cowering somewhere, awaiting the unwanted advances of a drunken Master. This was the way. This was their life. When children were born of these relations, it did not matter that the Master was the father. He/she was still a slave and little consideration was given to the child. However, a family was a family to love and cherish no matter how this family was formed. This was the life they knew. It was there, in those slave quarters where a slave was free to love, celebrate the little blessings one had, hold on tightly to a loved one that could surely be sold on a whim. Families were split and splintered. It was the life of a slave. This was the South.

The Kitchen House is about a family. A family of slaves. Some work in the field and some in the Big House but after the work is done, they are reunited at days end. They are a family, no matter HOW they became a family. The story revolves around Tall Oaks, a southern plantation. At first, things are ideal for the slave family. The Master is a kind and generous Master but circumstances change and the horror of life at Tall Oaks has only just begun.

As I close this book, I take a deep breath. I am sad. I feel ashamed of my fellow man for the cruelty and behaviors of the past but I also have a deeper understanding about the families that kept plantations operable. A behind the scenes glimpse, if you will. I close the book on a loving southern slave family, one of many, that was willing to risk life and limb to hold the pieces of their family together. I will never forget this family and I will not forget the families before them. My heart goes out to each and every one.
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Reading Progress

April 21, 2014 – Shelved
April 21, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
April 21, 2014 – Shelved as: book-club
April 21, 2014 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
April 21, 2014 – Shelved as: southern-fiction
May 14, 2014 – Started Reading
May 17, 2014 –
page 181
49.05% "This book is AMAZING!!!! I am in absolute heaven when I am reading this book. Thank you, Kathleen Grissom!"
May 17, 2014 – Shelved as: all-time-faves
May 17, 2014 – Shelved as: 2014-book-challenge
May 17, 2014 – Finished Reading
June 17, 2014 – Shelved as: everyone-s-choice-bc
September 30, 2015 – Shelved as: hardcover-paperback-own

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