The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (Review by Erin Woodward)
Like I said in my last review – I’ve been reading a lot and I’m sorta on a winning streak here. Because let’s be honest reading three books in a row that you’re considering for your top 20 list is pretty amazing not to mention unlikely. But here we are.
This time, changing genres completely The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom is a historical novel about a Southern Estate in the late eighteenth century. It’s got everything you could want; romance, betrayal, conquest, passion and rebellion. The story is told from two points of views, Lavinia, a young white Irish immigrant who is a slave to a wealthy landowner after her parents died on the ship coming over from Ireland and the other, Belle, a beautiful kitchen maid whose father was the plantation owner and mother one of his respected (and adored) black house slaves who died giving birth.
This book is a bit older (2010) but I read it because I want to consider the sequel for the Girly Book Club – Glory Over Everything -which tells the tale of Belle’s son Jamie living in Philadelphia as a white man in the early 1800’s, if it’s anywhere near as great as Grissom first book then it will be well worth your investment of time.
Congrats to Grissom for capturing a period of time that must have been hugely difficult for those living it and for bringing these stories to us in such a captivating and honest fashion. A gifted writing and storyteller alike.