Orphaned while onboard a 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 deeply bonds with her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. ...
Orphaned while onboard a 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 deeply bonds with 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 and she 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. The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.
Great approach to an uncomfortable topic. However, I could have done with less foreshadowing throughout the book.
Great description of characters and locations. I felt like I knew them and had been there.
Apr 26, 2012
My opinion is this is a much better book than "The Help" and we all know how highly that book is rated and I honestly believe this book would make a fantastic movie. I have already shared it with 2 friends and they loved it too!
This author MUST write more; she has outstanding talents.
Mar 18, 2012
This book showed another view of the slave and plantation days. The two worlds, (black and white) can be blended as the main character tried to do. This is a book I will recommend to my book group. It will be great for discussion.
Feb 23, 2012
Excellent reading if you have read the Help, you will read this, hopefully.
May 27, 2010
Wonderful book! Slightly sad towards the end, but turns out good!
Publishers Weekly, 2009-11-09 Grissom's unsentimental debut twists the conventions of the antebellum novel just enough to give readers an involving new perspective on what would otherwise be fairly stock material. Lavinia, an orphaned seven-year-old white indentured servant, arrives in 1791 to work in the kitchen house at Tall Oaks, a Tidewater, Va., tobacco plantation owned by Capt. James Pyke. Belle, the captain's illegitimate half-white daughter who runs the kitchen house, shares narration duties, and the two distinctly different voices chronicle a troublesome 20 years: Lavinia becomes close to the slaves working the kitchen house, but she can't fully fit in because of her race. At 17, she marries Marshall, the captain's brutish son turned inept plantation master, and as Lavinia ingratiates herself into the family and the big house, racial tensions boil over into lynching, rape, arson, and murder. The plantation's social order's emphasis on violence, love, power, and corruption provides a trove of tension and grit, while the many nefarious doings will keep readers hooked to the twisted, yet hopeful, conclusion. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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