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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 Stories set in the South during the time of slavery are always a difficult read The Kitchen House is no exception However, the story told here is not all tragedy There is also hope, friendship, and love in this story.The Kitchen House is told from two points of view Lavinia, a young Irish girl who is now an indentured servant, and Belle, a young black slave, who is half while Lavinia, is seven years old, when she is orphaned when her parents die during passage by boat The Captain, takes her to his plantation and house to pay off her parents debt She is quite ill and is given to Belle to take care of and eventually work in the Kitchen House Belle, is the illegitimate daughter of the Captain, and being half black, is a slave who works in the Kitchen House Most of the book is told from Lavinia s point of view, and Belle fills in the rest It s good to hear from Belle s point of view as Lavinia is so young and clueless and sometimes dimwitted Lavinia is taken in, arms wide open, by the family of slaves on the plantation and the Kitchen House She is so young and shaken that she does not realize the difference between black and white in the South during this time During the story, you see her grow into a young woman, eventually getting married and having a child of her own Though, she is blind to the ways of some, and marries an absolute evil man You see her grow and her thoughts change about her adopted family You see the bond she has with them, especially Belle You also see the consequences of keeping secrets or holding your anger You see Belle, who is a strong woman, who wants and needs her free papers Then she has a child, who she absolutely adores, but who is taken violently and heartlessly from her.The Kitchen House is a wonderful, powerful book At times, I found Lavinia a bit annoying, wanting her to snap out of it, and face what is going on But I forget that she is seven years old when this book starts I loved all the characters in the book Ben, Momma Mae, Belle, Papa George, and all the others You know that any book about the South and slavery is going to contain such heartbreak, but this is what happened during those times Love and compassion live in many, but there were so many where evil lived and thrived in I felt the end of the book went too quickly for me I wanted details, but it seemed so rushed Some of these characters you see in the follow up to this one and I can t wait to jump in and read it.I listened to this one via audio Two narrators, one for Lavinia and one for Belle They both did a fabulous job and I loved this one even due to the narration A wonderful book and wonderful narration and a great book to get started with on audios. Kathleen Grissom had the raw materials for a rich and powerful historical novel Her writing is good, if a little drawn out at times She has an interesting angle with the orphaned Irish immigrant girl put to work among the slaves So why did it fall short I think Grissom slipped too easily into stereotypes and melodrama and never got out of that rut When you have too many tragic or shocking things happen to too many characters, it becomes predictable and numbs the reader I started losing track of what bad things had happened to which characters I enjoyed the story well enough for what it was, but it didn t feel real to me I should add that I read Alex Haley s Roots at the age of 17, which set my standards for authenticity in slave novels No doubt this accounts in part for my lukewarm response to The Kitchen House If you haven t set the bar quite that high, you may just love it A lot of people have so far. I had sorted this book as literature on my shelf well it is definitely not literature but cheap sensational stuff based on stereotypes.While reading this book this is what I wrote I am not liking this book It feels like the books I read when I was a teen and had nothing good to read It is too much Too much sorrow and everything goes wrong Now she is going to make life changing decisions because of lack of communication If there is something I dislike it is that in books.I meant by that that you know a woman could have had a great live, if not for a stupid misunderstanding Like in the cheap harlequin romance books here in The Netherlands they were are called bouquet reeks I now discover that indeed the publisher is harlequin where they never understand each other and because of that make dumb decisions and when they finally get together they tell each other they loved each other from the start After a while 65% I decided to quit reading which is something I hardly ever do I knew what was going to happen and I could not care less So disappointing Had this book on my wish list for ages Well I never throw books away and i can t bookcross it because it is an ebook So I will hit the delete book from device button. Absolutely wonderful narration This was definitely a winner for me because of its awesome narrators who made this such an entertaining and enjoyable read I must say this is the first audiobook that I have thoroughly enjoyed and was captivated from start to finish.THE KITCHEN HOUSE by KATHLEEN GRISSOM is a very touching, powerful, gripping, heart wrenching, and a beautifully written Historical Fiction novel which is set on a plantation in the antebellum South that grabbed my listening ears right from the very first chapter.The novel was told in alternating perspectives of Lavinia and Belle with a different narrator for each voice I fell in love with these characters and empathized with them as they shared their stories of love, friendship, family, commitment, survival, and loss I couldn t help but be totally lost in this story as I found myself listening rather intently to all of their struggles and triumphs at THE KITCHEN HOUSE I could hear their joy and their sadness coming through so vividly which had me totally engaged in this story.KATHLEEN GRISSOM delivers a very descriptive and well written novel here that I found was easy to follow along with the storyline and all the characters involved There is a lot happening throughout this story and I thought it was a fantastic account about this part of history.Would recommend All of Brenda my reviews can be found on our sister blog