Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Kitchen House

by Kathleen Grissom
Oct 12-Nov 5, 2015


Obviously I'm way late reading this one. I've decided that 2015 is officially the year of my biggest reading slump. For more reasons than one, I couldn't seem to focus on anything, let alone reading. There weren't a lot of new titles that piqued my interest. And I abandoned more books this year than I have ever done before. When I decided to look on my small, dusty bookshelf, I saw The Kitchen House, which I've had for years, with no shortage of recommendations. It was just what I needed.

I tore through each chapter of an orphaned Irish girl living among the slaves on a tobacco plantation. Lavinia identified with the slaves; an attitude that would cause trouble for everyone around her. Grissom mastered the character development of both the slaves and the plantation owners. I felt love and hate for these people in equal measure. With chapters alternating between Lavinia and Belle, the plantation owner's illegitimate daughter, I was riveted and ultimately satisfied with the story.
“This world is not the only home. This world is for practice to get things right.”
When it was originally published in 2010, of course people were making direct comparisons to The Help. While maybe they would compliment each other, they certainly can't be compared. For whatever reason though, I've noticed a bit of a slavery "trend" in subject matter of late. Or maybe I'm just drawn to it? Personally, I've read three books about slavery this year alone. The Kitchen House beats the others hands down.

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