The Kitchen House

by Kathleen Grissom

Gail Reid (06/16/13): The takeaway for me in the Kitchen House was the knowledge that in the late 1700's colonial America,the Irish were also "employed" as indentured servants. In this novel, the young orphan Irish girl, Lavinia, is raised among the black slaves, where she is happy and comfortable and loved, although her race affords her privileges, especially as she approaches adulthood.

What I did not like about the book is that it screams "unbelievable". Life among the slaves on this plantation rocked with murder, rape, incest, alcoholism ,opium addiction, mental illness,torture and constant chaos. In my mind and in many history books. life among the slaves on a plantation was filled with back-breaking work, constant exhaustion and hunger.

The Kitchen House is a very fast read and felt like a Harlequin Romance. However, more than 1500 people gave it very positive reviews on Amazon, so read the book and see for yourself!
Rating: ***

Judy Stanton (05/31/13): Kitchen House is the story of slavery in the early 1800s, told through the eyes of women slaves, and Lavinia, a young white girl indentured to the Pike family. What makes her coming of age story interesting is her dilemma of being a white girl who is brought up by the extended slave family, yet given privileges and status among the white family owners as well. While I found this to be a good read, I felt that the good and evil was too "black and white;" the devilish master and overseer vs. the wonderful black Mama and Papa who knew how to handle any situation and were always loving and kind. Still, I enjoyed the story in different voices and was drawn back to see what would happen. 3+
Rating: ***+

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