The Kitchen House: A Novel

Front Cover
Touchstone, Feb 2, 2010 - Fiction - 368 pages
486 Reviews
In this gripping New York Times bestseller, Kathleen Grissom brings to life a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War, where a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate.

Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the masterís illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family.

In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the masterís opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.

Through the unique eyes of Lavinia and Belle, Grissomís debut novel unfolds in a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets, and familial bonds.

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I loved the writing style here. - Goodreads
Definitely hard to read and some WTF moments. - Goodreads
And Grissom kept the plot moving at a quick pace. - Goodreads
My only complaint is the ending seemed a bit rushed. - Goodreads
I liked it better than The Help. A page turner. - Goodreads
It was very well written and researched. - Goodreads

Review: The Kitchen House

User Review  - Marissa - Goodreads

3.5 stars. Ya know those books where the entire time the main character makes the exact opposite decision than you would make if you were living the book. This book was exactly that. I was mentally ... Read full review

Review: The Kitchen House

User Review  - Gary - Goodreads

Not going to waste time on a long review on this one.....My review can be summed up in "one word." Ready for it? Waiting.... waiting.... drumroll.....please...... My review for this book........ is ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Kathleen Grissom is now happily rooted in south-side Virginia, where she and her husband live in the plantation tavern they renovated. The Kitchen House is her first novel. You can visit her website at

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