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Discussion Archives > July 2016: The Kitchen House

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message 1: by Rachel Jorquera , Moderator (new)

Rachel Jorquera  (racheljorquera) | 2955 comments Mod
Discussion starts here!

Here are a few points to think about and discuss:

- Why do you think the author chose to tell the story through two narrators?

- One of the novel’s themes is history repeating itself. Another theme is isolation. Select scenes from The Kitchen House that depict each theme and discuss. Are there scenes in which the two themes intersect?

- Birds, what do they represent?

- Any other imagery that stands out?


message 2: by Colleen (new)

Colleen  | 143 comments I think the author tried to contrast the two lives to point out the stark differences between Lavinia and Belle. Of course, they were held captive in similar ways though.

Loved this book! Can't wait to read the sequel but question if it will be nearly as good.


message 3: by Colleen (new)

Colleen  | 143 comments I loved the birds theme. From Papa demonstrating with a chick and how it didn't matter what color the chicks were to their parents to Meg's obsession with botany and Lavinia's bird nest collection I was struck with how often this theme came up. I'm not sure of all the significance? Freedom, home, caring?


message 4: by Colleen (new)

Colleen  | 143 comments Lavinia was definitely isolated after her marriage. The captain and his son definitely repeated behavior on their female slaves. But the captain treated his daughter much differently than Marshall treated Jamie. Miss Martha and Mama Mae were tragic figures and ruined by the son.

I hated the prologue too - it just set me up to wondering through the whole book....


message 5: by Linda (new)

Linda Martin (lindajm) | 76 comments What a sad story! Belle and Lavinia were both enslaved, but in different ways. The only truly free woman was Meg, whose devotion to botany saved her from defining herself by an attachment to a man.


message 6: by Colleen (new)

Colleen  | 143 comments So true - Meg was very smart and seemed to know what was going on. Too bad she couldn't have dissuaded Lavinia fro her marriage and gotten to the bottom of Will's intentions. She did try and warn her from "Mr. Boring" but Lavinia just didn't have enough awareness of her potential. Or choices.


message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura | 4 comments Absolutely loved this book - I read it weeks ago and it is still with me. I can't get it off my mind.


message 8: by Kel (new)

Kel | 66 comments I tried , I got through 89 pages and just can't seem to get into this. It's not terrible , just can't seem to keep me interested. I'm not giving up entirely , maybe I'll pick it back up again one day soon.


message 9: by Linda (new)

Linda Martin (lindajm) | 76 comments Kel, I found it hard to love at times too. I wanted it to be something more, when it was sort of a chick-book exposing historical racism. Still, I applaud it as a good start from a first-time novelist. Not great enough that I'll read the sequel... though I'm sure there are many people who were more positively impressed than I was. Maybe I'm getting spoiled, but books like "Gone Girl" and "Holes" are layered, and setting a higher standard these days.


Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) I enjoyed this book. I think it might make a good TV series.


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