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The Kitchen House
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Archive: Other Books > (Poll Ballot) The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom - 4 stars

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Ellen | 2136 comments In the 1790's while aboard a ship with her parents who were leaving Ireland to travel to America, 7-year-old Lavinia was orphaned. The ship's master, Captain Pyke, brought the child to his plantation as an indentured servant and left her in the care of his slaves in the Kitchen House. Lavinia learns to love her new family, especially Belle, who is also a favorite of Captain Pyke. As Lavinia grows older, she often is brought to the big house to look after Captain Pyke's fragile and opium addicted wife, Martha. She has little to do with the Pyke's son Marshall, a spoiled and hot-headed young man who loves to drink and gamble. Lavinia is content in her life with the slaves but her skin color will eventually set her apart from them. The slaves know that once Marshall comes of age he will become their master and his cruelty will be unbounded, especially toward Belle. Once Lavinia's indenture is finished, she wants nothing more than to help those who have loved and protected her since she was a child but finds this nearly impossible to do.

I really enjoyed this book very much. The characters are well rounded, mostly likable, and very loving. My only issue with the book is Lavinia's marriage. I understand that it makes for great drama which drives the second half of the book but I don't think her character was ever portrayed as blind to another's grievous faults. Other than that, it was a great story; heartbreaking at times but lovely at others.

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7469 comments I also really liked this one. The 2nd book Glory Over Everything: Beyond The Kitchen House is also very good

Ellen | 2136 comments Oh, I didn't know there was a second one! Thanks, Joanne.

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