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The Kitchen House
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Kitchen House - October > Chapter 39-End

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Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
You made it to the end! Any final thoughts? What did you think about the relationship between Lavinia and Belle? When talking about wanting to read this book I heard a lot of people tell me it's so good, but there were some hard situations to read about. Does that ring true? Did you like Grissom's writing (setting, plot, characters, dialog)?

My book has author notes and an interview at the back. Did you read those and learn anything new? or anything that gives a different perspective on the book?

I can't wait to hear what you thought! If you finish early in the month, feel free to pop back in and discuss with the rest of the group as we all finish.


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Cassie | 37 comments Not quite finished. ..chapter 54.
The anticipation is hard to bear at this point.

I know from the prologue, which was actually the ending or climax, that someone is going to die....but who is it that she walks up on hanging from the tree? And what circumstances led to it - was it suicide or not?

More to come.....


Amber Eats Books (ambereatsbooks) | 12 comments I finished this a few days ago but needed time to gather my thoughts. I was amazed at how much I fell heart first into this story.

The characters were strong. Their fear and struggle were palpable. I felt bad for everyone. I even felt bad for Marshall. Were his actions excusable? Certainly not! However, seeing what he had to endure during his childhood coupled with the lack of action on his parents part, made me at least see him as something other than the monster he became.

I appreciated seeing the journey Lavinia went through from servant to lady of the house. It was interesting to see things from her unique perspective. She was so naive in certain sections that I wanted to shake her. I also wanted to comfort her when she hit bottom. I think the author did a great job capturing the complexities of life. Not everything is black and white. There are often good qualities in bad people and bad qualities is good people. It’s not entirely cut and dry.

Loss and grief play such a huge role in this story. I found myself crying many, many times while reading. I felt so deeply for all of the characters especially Papa and Mama Mae. They did their best to care for and protect everyone. The ending tore me to bits!

Overall, this was a fantastic book! Thank you for picking it! I may have never discovered it otherwise.


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Cassie | 37 comments It's hard to process this book.
I was talking to a gal at work today about the book. When I posted it on IG that I was starting, I had a few comments about what a great book it was and they loved it.

I can't say that I loved this book. And it wasn't pleasurable to read...it was painful and uncomfortable and heart-breaking. But it was a good book - it was well-written: characters, plot, setting, dialogue, theme, all of it, top-notch. It evoked emotion and opinions in me.
I saw a review that said it was heart-breaking but hopeful. I don't know. I didn't feel a ton of hope at the end. A little bit, but not a ton.

I'm going to rate it 4 or 5 stars and it's one of the best books I've read this year, but for completely different reasons than say The Story of Arthur Trulov, which is also on that list.

This is a book that is going to stay with me for a long time. And it's a book that needs to be read; it's a fantastic book because of it's subject matter and the way it examines history and society but not because it's such a joy to read.


Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
Cassie wrote: "It's hard to process this book.
I was talking to a gal at work today about the book. When I posted it on IG that I was starting, I had a few comments about what a great book it was and they loved ..."


I am thinking about that phrase "heart-breaking, but hopeful". I do see the hope in that these people who were experiencing such awful treatment and horrible circumstances were able to form strong family bonds. They were able to care for one another in deep, meaningful and lasting ways. Their circumstances didn't change (until the very end), but they were able to uplift each other, help each other, forgive each other and even still find moments of joy in their lives. I see hope in all of that.


April (Getting Hygge With It) (goodreadscomapriloverall) | 5 comments This is one of the BEST books I've read this year! I listened to it on audiobook which I highly recommend. It's the type of book that I'll most definitely reread. It was just so gripping. How did THAT MANY THINGS happen in the span of just a few hundred pages? It felt epic. So naturally I'm moving RIGHT ALONG INTO Glory Over Everything because I need more of this world. It was so beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Gah. Thanks for picking this Krista!!


Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
April (Getting Hygge With It) wrote: "This is one of the BEST books I've read this year! I listened to it on audiobook which I highly recommend. It's the type of book that I'll most definitely reread. It was just so gripping. How did T..."

I'm so glad you liked it, April! It was too sad for me to continue right away. I heard that Glory Over Everything will follow Sukey and Jamie's story lines. That does sound like something I'll want to read someday. You'll have to let me know if it is as good as this one.


Wendy (wmaresca) I don't know how I feel. I was hoping for a happy ending and this wasn't the happy ending I was looking for. It definitely was a good book, so heartbreaking though. Everything they all went through. I was hoping that in the end Lavinia and Will would haven ended up together. It just seemed as if nothing good ever happened for her or Belle.
So wonderful how Mr. Madden came to help her in the end and made sure she was able to live in the only place she truly knew as home and finally be able to be with her family.
I was devasted when they hung Mama Mae. I couldn't believe that Marshall would actually do that. So sad that his mind was so destroyed by those horrible horrible men when he was younger. And worse than that was that his father I feel was truly to blame for not listening to what everyone was saying about the tutor. You wonder how he would have been had those horrible things not happen to him.
Definitely a five star read for me.


Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
Wendy wrote: "I don't know how I feel. I was hoping for a happy ending and this wasn't the happy ending I was looking for. It definitely was a good book, so heartbreaking though. Everything they all went through..."

So glad it's a 5star read for you. It was so very heartbreaking though. I couldn't believe what happened to Mama Mae. It just was one thing after another. I was angry more than sad because I know that's how it really was for so many slaves. It just gets me riled up to think of people treating others like that. There's just no excuse! I usually forget books once I've read them, but this one has stuck with me for sure.


Devonet | 2 comments Late to this group, I know... but I was hoping to discuss Marshall with people who read the book.

He was a difficult character for me to figure out. I felt so terrible for him as a young boy, going through the abuse he suffered at the hand of his tutor. Later though, in his teen years, when he and Lavinia met at his aunt and uncle's house, he was very nice to Lavinia. He seemed to genuinely care for her (protecting her at the dinner with friends and then later coming to her rescue with her fiancé). He still obviously had anger issues, but I thought he cared for Lavinia. It's obvious he never loved her, but he was just so awful to her once they returned to Tall Oaks.

I also wished the author would have expanded more on his unusually close relationship with the vile Mr. Rankin. Why is he so close to this man? He even seeks him out after nearly 10 years of not seeing him upon his return home. What's up with this?!


message 11: by Cassie (new) - added it

Cassie | 37 comments I think Marshall's close relationship with Rankin is due to the extended absences of his father and his father's detachment when he was home. Rankin became the father figure to him , unfortunately, the worst character of his community for him to spend time with.

As for Marshall and Lavinia - would their relationship have been different if they had never returned to the plantation. It seems that for the most part, Marshall was able to keep his demons at bay while in town and society. I think Lavinia actually inspired that in him and gave him the strength to ignore and suppress his dark side. However, returning to his childhood home, the place where so much turmoil and hurt and lack of love exists for him....that drew the darkness to him rather than pushing it away.


Devonet | 2 comments Thank you for responding to me Cassi! I just noticed. I like your take on Marshall and Lavinia. I just finished the follow up book “Glory Over Everything.” It was very different than the first, but I still liked it.


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