I don’t even know where to start with this one. I don’t.
How can a book that pretty much punched my heart in the face be so captivating, I could hardly put it down? Trust me, this one draws you in.
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom.
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.
The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.
Did you read that last line in the description? The one that starts with tragic? They don’t play. It’s not a light read by any means (read: kind of depressing), but it reveals part of our country’s history that happened. And sadly a lot. Some characters you wanted to smack some common sense into (I’m talking to you L), others you wanted to hug (oh Will!) and others you despise.
If you are expecting sunshine and unicorns, you may want to pass on this one. But if you want a book that’s real, then I definitely recommend this one.
Have you read it? Let’s chat about it in the comments!
I heard a rumor a sequel is coming out.