Download The Kitchen House Online by Kathleen Grissom
Click Here to Download the Book When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family. Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.
Reviews Grissom's The Kitchen House is just the kind of historical fiction that I've always loved. To be honest, I would have never guessed that this was her first novel. I found her characters to be complex and believable. The plot line kept me guessing a bit, but there weren't any ridiculous or forced plot twists that I've found in a few other recent reads that turn me off. It is clear that Grissom did her research in writing this novel. The narrator of the novel alternates between two of the main character, Lavinia and Belle, with each chapter which I found quite interesting. Both characters are well-defined and offer a unique perspective on the overall story. The ONLY thing that bothered me (just a little) about the novel, was that the dialect(s) were clear among the slave characters, however Lavinia's accent is completely absent...even though it is referenced early on in the novel that she can be hard to understand at times because her Irish dialect is so strong. Just seems like one detail that wasn't carried through considering the detail and consistency found in the rest of the novel. Despite this, if you are a fan of historical fiction, I DO NOT think that you will be disappointed by The Kitchen House!! It's a great read!
I haven't read a great fiction novel in a while and this book was fantastic! Set in Antebellum south during slavery and plantation times, it can be a difficult read for a modern minded person. But if you can take your mind and set it to the time period, it felt like a accurate representation of plantation life. Because of the constant drama and hardship, it reminded me a lot of the The Book Thief. I found myself thinking about the characters and the storyline when I wasn't reading the book which tells me I really liked it. I have a hard time handing out five stars but to be honest, this work of fiction is among the best I've read in a long time. I listened to the audiobook and if you have a long car ride or long boring task you need to do, I highly highly recommend listening to this book as it Lavinia is narrated by an actress with an Irish accent and Belle is narrated by an African American voice who narrates the slaves' voices so well! I could envision all of the characters. As mentioned before, it is not for the faint of heart as it includes plot elements of rape, child abuse, incest, assault, and slavery. But I feel as though the author handled the topics with care and did not get too graphic in the description. Overall, I feel sad that it is over and I heard that there is a sequel coming with Jamie as the main character. Can't wait!!
The Kitchen House is Kathleen Grissom's first novel and was published here in the UK by Doubleday at Transworld on 14 March 2013. Thank goodness - my reading mojo is back, and was saved by this novel! I have been totally transfixed by this wonderful story and enjoyed every page of it. Kathleen Grissom has produced a story that is moving and
shocking, with characters that are so well created that the reader feels as though they are family. This is not a pleasant story, at times it is harrowing and very cruel, but it is compelling and I found it very difficult to put it down. Set in Virginia, and beginning in 1791, The Kitchen House tells the story of Lavinia, a seven-year-old Irish orphan. Lavinia finds herself working in the kitchen of a wealthy plantation owner and soon becomes part of the family of black slaves who are owned by and work on the plantation. As Lavinia grows up, she becomes more aware of her white skin, and how this makes her different to her adopted family. The story is narrated alternatively by Lavinia and by Belle. Belle has always been a mother figure to Lavinia, yet she is black, a slave, and owned fully by the Captain. Kathleen Grissom has proved with this debut novel that she can write very well. Her writing has a warmth and compassionate edge that even when dealing with some horrific incidents of violence and cruelty urges the reader to carry on reading. The subject matter is shocking, the writing is brave, the story is important.
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