24 April 2012

Book Review: The Kitchen House

New York: Touchstone, 2010.
I recently finished The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom.  A friend turned me onto this one and I started it on an airplane at the beginning of a vacation.  Obviously I need to pay closer attention to the books that this friend recommends.

As I started I was quickly caught-up in the tale of Lavinia, a young Irish girl, who becomes an indentured servant upon her arrival in America and is raised in the kitchen house of a tobacco plantation by a woman named Belle, the daughter of a slave and her master.

This book has it all: love, laughter, cruelty and despair.  The resulting story is one of love, acceptance, and family.

Grissom's writing was beautiful and satisfying.  She used two point of views, Lavinia's and Belle's, and I was always eager to get back to the other character and see what they were thinking/doing. Grissom's dialogue and setting made the story and the emotions and desires of the characters immediate and real.  She brought a late Eighteenth/early Nineteenth Century southern plantation to life and with it the lives of Lavinia, Belle and their entire family.

I highly recommend this book and will definitely be finding more of Kathleen Grissom's books to read in the future.

No comments: