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The Kitchen House

Grissom, Kathleen (Book - 2010 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Kitchen House


Item Details

Baker & Taylor
Working as an indentured servant alongside slaves on a tobacco plantation, Lavinia, a 7-year-old Irish orphan with no memory of her past, finds her light skin and situation placing her between two very different worlds that test her loyalties. A first novel. Original.

Baker
& Taylor

Working as an indentured servant alongside slaves on a tobacco plantation, Lavinia, a seven-year-old Irish orphan with no memory of her past, finds her light skin and situation placing her between two very different worlds that test her loyalties.

Simon and Schuster
In this gripping New York Times bestseller, Kathleen Grissom brings to life a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War, where a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate.

Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family.

In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master’s opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.

Through the unique eyes of Lavinia and Belle, Grissom’s debut novel unfolds in a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets, and familial bonds.

Authors: Grissom, Kathleen
Statement of Responsibility: Kathleen Grissom
Title: The kitchen house
Publisher: New York :, Touchstone Books,, 2010
Edition: 1st Touchstone trade pbk. ed
Characteristics: 368 p. ;,21 cm.
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Report This Feb 05, 2014
  • sasie rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A very high interest and fast pace story.

Report This Feb 04, 2014
  • TulsaTimeTraveler rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

An all-time favorite in our book group, this book focuses on racial relations in the time of slavery in an intensely moving way. Even though I read this book a few years ago, the warmth of the kitchen house lingers with me still.

Report This Jan 28, 2014
  • helenmatt rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Found this book to be fascinating and interestingly told. Really made me feel like I was there, and I feel a relationship with the characters! Well told!

Report This Dec 21, 2013
  • becker rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is a story about a little Irish girl who is orphaned while sailing to America and becomes an indentured servant for a family that takes her in. It is very interesting to see how her role in the household changes as she becomes an adult and the book deals with her struggle between the two conflicting worlds she lives in. I enjoyed this and would recommend it.

Report This Jul 30, 2013
  • Rosina rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book is historical fiction, with well-developed and interesting characters. Sort of “Gone with the Wind” without the war and more emphasis on the black families and less on the white but a good mixture of both and how they are entwined. It is a page-turner and one of those books that stays with you all day. A very good read and an original twist to an engaging story.

Report This Jul 28, 2013
  • Randazzle rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book was captivating with rich characters throughout - I even sympathized with the "bad" characters at times. The plot line seemed to get crazy, sad, and complicated, though sadly realistic, I'm sure. Definitely a page-turner.

A patron review from the Adult Summer Reading Game: This novel shares the dynamic story of two families: A white family that owns a tobacco plantation and a black family of slaves working for them. A very young Irish girl named Lavina travelling by ship is orphaned during the journey and beomes a servant at the plantation. She develops profound connections with both families. The events and relationships between the characters in this book book are complex, dramatic and thought provoking. Love and loyalty are important themes in this book.

Report This May 29, 2013
  • mrsgail5756 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The book was okay – but not one of my favorites.

Report This Apr 05, 2013
  • druby rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I think I loved this book right from the 1st page. Well developed characters and a great story. Historical fiction at it's best.

Great book, from the beginning to the end. Read this book.

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Report This Oct 10, 2013
  • EuphoniaCarstairs rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Historical fiction depicting the lives of slaves in the pre-Civil War South, and the life of a woman who arrives in the U.S. from Ireland as an indentured servant and grows up to become the mistress of the plantation where she first arrived as an indentured servant.

Main characters Lavinia, Belle, Mama Mae, Papa, Marshall, Rankin. A page turner, like a British Victorian novel, captures voice of the times, good on black dialect, insights into situation of slaves vis-a-vis the white masters, sex relations, & on plight of indentured Irish.

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Report This May 29, 2013
  • mrsgail5756 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

“One person can make a difference and every person should try.” –John F Kennedy

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Report This Oct 04, 2012
  • becker rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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