The Kitchen House: A Novel

Front Cover
Touchstone, Feb 2, 2010 - Fiction - 384 pages
3980 Reviews
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 masterís 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.

The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.

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Well researched and good plot. - Goodreads
Depressing awful story with no good ending for anyone. - Goodreads
Good pacing between plot action and setting details. - Goodreads
This book was difficult to read. - Goodreads
Loved the story telling. - Goodreads
This book is a page turner but very depressing.... - Goodreads

Review: The Kitchen House

User Review  - Mary Banken - Goodreads

The book is rather engaging as a melodrama if that is your mood... But as an attempt at literature it is a disappointment. Not much to be learned from this reading... Just an adventure with a selection of threads that all resolved too quickly. Read full review

Review: The Kitchen House

User Review  - Betsie - Goodreads

A really good story about early 19th century slaves and indentured servant. I thought at times it was a bit on the dramatic, but really moved along and kept me reading. 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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