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The Kitchen House
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Kitchen House - October > Chapters 16-38

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Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
You've read through more than half of the book at this point. How are you feeling about the book? About the characters? About the plot and pacing? Has anything stood out to you? Are you getting any ideas about how it's going to end?

message 2: by Cassie (last edited Oct 15, 2017 08:55PM) (new) - added it

Cassie | 37 comments Its a great book: well-written, dynamic characters, compelling story. I like the two perspectives of Lavinia and Belle.
But I'm not sure I would say I'm enjoying's too much sometimes and I have to step away, even though I am anxious to know what happens next, it stirs up so much emotion.
The abuse: physical, sexual, emotional....overwhelming. I've had to pick up another book that is more lighthearted to balance it out. And I enjoy physiological/serial killer thrillers but this is affecting me much more deeply.

Is there a strong female character in this book? I don't think they are portrayed as we see typical strong females in literature today. I think their actions are typical to the time period. Is Lavinia strong by her focus to improve her marriage snd not upset Marshall, agreeing with him on all subjects, even when she doesn't? Is Belle strong by waiting to see what will happen instead of storming over to get her son?

Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
I am having similar feelings, Cassie. Enjoy just isn't the word for this book. The writing is easy to read and I am drawn in by these characters, but it is just so hard to read at the same time. I have not read too many books that talk about slavery and all the abuse people suffered at the hands of rich, white people. It's so horrifying. I haven't found myself crying though, like I do with the horrors of WWII books. With this one I get a pit in my stomach.

Interesting thoughts about whether Lavinia and Belle are strong, female leads. I'm thinking Lavinia is going to have her moment to shine and stand up for her "family" before it's all said and done.

Marshall was able to woo Lavinia, but I think it's more because of her desire for home than who he is. His true colors have peeked out, but I know it will get worse and I'm not looking forward to it.

The last sentence of Ch 38 sums it up well - "It's like you know a storm's coming, and lightening's bound to strike." I feel it too.

Diane | 22 comments I too have a love/hate relationship with this book. I love the writing and I love the relationships within Mama Mae's family. But I definitely hate certain characters and situations in this book in a way that I have rarely experienced when reading a novel before.

I also have not cried too much in this book. I find myself feeling more angry than sad. The author definitely has done a good job in getting me to feel things while reading.

I don't think Lavina is a strong female character, at least so far. She seems to do whatever she is told to do for the most part. And she seems afraid to talk about things for fear she will upset someone. I'm not sure about Belle yet. She seems stronger than Lavina, but her situation prevents from being as strong as she could be.

I kind of hope Marshall meets with some unfortunate accident soon.

Becky I agree that enjoy isn't a good word for this book. I'm also getting a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach as I read this book. I think it is a very well written, incredible story so far though. The fact that Kathleen Grissom is able to envoke such strong emotions from each of us shows how well crafted this story is.

While I hope a strong female character emerges out of Lavinia or Belle, I could see this going either way.

Debbi Faust | 164 comments I have had this book on my TBR for a long, long time. I am so glad that Krista picked it for our October read. It did not disappoint and I am giving it five stars.

Wendy (wmaresca) I am so annoyed at Lavinia I understand she grew up differently but how can she be so naive. I also get frustrated how she has no clue that Will really had feelings for her not Belle.
Does anything ever turn out good. It seems like it is all one bad thing after another. Such a heart breaking story. I hope there is at least some sort of happiness for them.

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