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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
2,2921642,777 (3.97)143
Member:janiereader
Title:The Kitchen House
Authors:Kathleen Grissom
Info:Touchstone (2010), Edition: 1ST, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Indentured servants -- Fiction, Slaves - Fiction, Plantation life -- Southern States -- Fiction

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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» See also 143 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
A Captivating Story
The Kitchen House has so many good reviews I had to pick it up. It is easy to read and there is no shortage of well developed characters. The writing, however left something to be desired from my perspective. It is a bit unpolished - otherwise this could be at least a 4 star novel. In some cases, the old adage "show don't tell" would make the difference.
One cannot argue with success however, so as a new novelist myself I must congratulate Kathleen Grissom on the popularity of her debut. The research and story-telling can't be faulted - thus I will be looking for her next novel.
(By the author of A Place in the World).
( )
  CindaMac | Mar 26, 2017 |
I read a great deal. I'm not getting any younger, so I gave up on this tepid novel after completing about one quarter of it (and reading that much was a chore). An uninspired plot, forgettable characters, and (most important) mediocre writing are the essence of The Kitchen House. The author's main purpose appears to me to lend a politically correct slant to the antebellum south. In more capable hands, it's possible that a reasonably good novel might have been the outcome. ( )
  Annesq | Feb 13, 2017 |
Interesting premise but the "tell, don't show" flat writing style left me emotionally distant from the characters and events. In the last half, I didn't care for the overwrought, melodramatic delivery. That is just a personal preference. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
A gripping read that is also a representative slice of American history. Lavinia is a white Irish girl who becomes a slave on a plantation through unfortunate circumstances. She's absorbed lovingly into the family of black slaves living there. The death of the land's owner leaves his ruthless son in charge, but the son has had his own tragedies. With a realistic group of characters from several generations, lives intertwine, relationships tangle, circumstances change and change again.

The only people with rights and authority in this time period were men. For all the rest, every action of every day was precarious, at best.

The story is good because of the author's extensive research. The characters come to life and endear themselves to the reader through the author's intelligent rendering of their dilemmas and the time in which they lived. I look forward to more writings from Kathleen Grissom. ( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
Love, loss, struggles, and triumph….all in one absolutely wonderful book. I don’t think there is one negative thing I can say about this novel. I loved the characters, story line, descriptions, and the way it was written. I highly recommend it. ( )
  lynnski723 | Dec 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 163 (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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