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The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
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The Kitchen House (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Kathleen Grissom

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,0361473,284 (3.98)133
Member:ADS85
Title:The Kitchen House
Authors:Kathleen Grissom
Info:Touchstone (2010), Edition: 1ST, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (2010)

  1. 50
    The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Blogletter)
    Blogletter: Zowel Het Keukenhuis door Kathleen Grissom als Een keukenmeidenroman door Kathryn Stocket gaan over slavernij in Amerika.
  2. 30
    Someone Knows My Name: A Novel by Lawrence Hill (Anonymous user, vancouverdeb)
    Anonymous user: Both The Kitchen House and the Book of Negroes are about Black Slavery in the South. They are different, but provide an eye opening look at Black Slavery.
  3. 10
    Oonagh by Mary Tilberg (Iudita)
    Iudita: Historical fiction about indentured servants.
  4. 00
    Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball (dara85)
  5. 11
    The Color Purple by Alice Walker (varwenea)
  6. 00
    Cane River by Lalita Tademy (dara85)
  7. 00
    Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim (susiesharp)
    susiesharp: this is also a tale of the south and slavery but this one is not as depressing as The Kitchen House but has a similar feel.
  8. 01
    Year the Colored Sisters Came to Town by Jacqueline Guidry (varwenea)
  9. 01
    The Ways of White Folks: Stories by Langston Hughes (varwenea)
  10. 01
    Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (varwenea)
  11. 01
    The Long Song by Andrea Levy (vancouverdeb)
    vancouverdeb: Similar themes: black slaves, a young woman who works within the "White Master's" Plantation house.Slavery,Freedom from slavery; both wonderfully written. Divided loyalities, a fiesty female slave.
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Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
Rating: ★★★★

In the late 18th century, while on the Atlantic Ocean, a young Irish girl's parents die. The ship's captain returns to his Virginia tobacco plantation where Lavinia is integrated with the kitchen house slaves. She grows to adulthood on the plantation living in two worlds, not fully feeling a part of either one. As a house servant, she assists in the care of the opium-addicted, frequently bedded plantation mistress. She loves and is loved by many of the plantation slaves, especially Belle, the novel's co-narrator, the daughter of the captain. However, Lavinia is not truly accepted in their world being white. Her separation becomes more pronounced as she grows to adulthood. This historical novel, published five years ago, has only recently receiving praise, especially since the sequel was announced. This novel is a poignant depiction of plantation life in early America. I will be reading the sequel. ( )
  John_Warner | Apr 28, 2016 |
This book is at the least worthy of 4 ½ stars, but no indications for such a rating. It may have started out a tad slow (for me). But as I continued reading about its characters and scenes, they all became more interesting and seemingly live. Although it’s a fictionalized story, this author’s writing style was well crafted. So skilled that it pulled readers into the moment. And created a read for “what was” . . . back in historical times. The language depicted was truly glamorous to its character and one of an eye opener, as it revealed itself. Does make one wonder and appreciate how times have changed.

You will have to read for yourself to explore the journey the characters took. And a journey it was! ( )
  Nina_N | Apr 25, 2016 |
Six year old Lavinia, orphaned while crossing the Atlantic from Ireland to the US in the late eighteenth century, is taken as an indentured servant/slave by the ship's captain since her parents had not yet paid him fully. Her brother was sold into an apprenticeship. She is brought to his house and given into the care of Belle, the captain's eldest child, but also a slave, since he had her with a slave before he was married. Belle had once lived in the big house being loved and educated until her father's marriage, because he was afraid of Martha's reaction if she found out. Lavinia bonds with her new black family.

The Kitchen House is told from both Belle's and Lavinia's points of view, and tells their stories over a number of years. Although not brilliantly told, it is well told, and highlights something not everyone is familiar with; the plight of indentured white children and adults, some of whom remained slaves for life. I'm not saying whether or not this happens with Lavinia. While I have read novels about indentured servants and slaves from the British Isles before, this is the first where I have read one where the child became so involved with the house slaves. What makes this story special isn't because it shows anything knew on the horrors of slavery, but the characters Grissom has in it. I would say that by and large most of them are well developed with very few stereotypes, but there are a few of those as well. However, it is a good debut novel and she shows promise as an author. ( )
  Karin7 | Apr 21, 2016 |
I was so hoping this was the book that reflected on Irish indentured servants (slavery) and told that story.

( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
An orphaned Irish girl raised lovingly by black slaves and becomes apart of their family. This beings a very endearing story and captivates you. The middle becomes quite tragic and goes on a bit too long for my taste by the end even more so. The ending also seemed rushed, Never the less with its few flaws I still quite enjoyed this book and hated to put it down. I also enjoyed reading the authors notes on how this story came about for her to write. ( )
  CherryBlossom.76 | Apr 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
Though there are several compelling insights in The Kitchen House, it’s nevertheless a formulaic story. There are graphic shocks, but no surprises.
added by lkernagh | editQuill & Quire, Sara Forsyth (Mar 1, 2010)
 
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For my beloved parents, Ted and Catherine Doepker, and for my dear mentor, Eleanor Drewry Dolan
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There was a strong smell of smoke, and new fear fueled me.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
After seven-year-old Lavinia is orphaned on the journey from Ireland to the United States, she begins work in the kitchen house of a tobacco plantation and bonds with the slaves who become her adopted family, but when Lavinia is accepted into the big house, her loyalties are challenged.
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"In 1790, Lavinia, a seven-year-old Irish orphan with no memory of her past, arrives on a tobacco plantation where she is put to work as an indentured servant with the kitchen house slaves. Though she becomes deeply bonded to her new family, Lavinia is also slowly accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. As time passes she finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds and when loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare and lives are at risk. "--Publisher's description.… (more)

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