Thursday, October 17, 2013
"The Kitchen House" by Kathleen Grissom 368 pages
"The Kitchen House" is Kathleen Grissom's debut novel. I just love debut novels! Think Kathryn
Stockett and "The Help", Jamie Ford and"The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet", Harper Lee and "To Kill a Mockingbird"...well that one may be a subject for another blog, but anyway, these are some great novels!
I do not think "The Kitchen House" will create quite the excitement as "The Help", but none the less it is an interesting look at a dark period in our nation's history. Lavinia is a 7-year- old Irish lass who is coming to America with her family. Both her parents die on the voyage across the sea. Lavinia is then indentured to the owner of the ship. She is assigned to assist Belle, a slave, in the kitchen house of the plantation and the illigitimate daughter of the master. Not surprisingly, Lavinia bonds with the slaves and comes to think of them as her family. This poses quite a problem when she becomes of age, is no longer indentured and becomes a prominent player in plantation life. I do not want to give away too much of the story, but you can understand her predicament...she grew up as a slave, being treated as a slave, although she was white, then, because she is white, she is seperated from her adopted family and becomes a part of southern society. A really good read with discussion questions included in the back of the book. A great one to recommend for book clubs. I read this the first part of September and still can't get the story out of my head.