The Kitchen House: A Novel

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Simon and Schuster, Feb 2, 2010 - Fiction - 384 pages
586 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 master’s 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 master’s 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, Grissom’s debut novel unfolds in a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets, and familial bonds.
 

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User Review  - jenn88 - LibraryThing

Seven-year-old Lavinia is orphaned while onboard a ship coming from Ireland. she arrives on the steps of a Virginia tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. This is a really good book! Read full review

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User Review  - Olivermagnus - LibraryThing

The Kitchen House takes place on a Virginia tobacco plantation from 1791 through 1810 and is told from the alternating points of view of Lavinia and Belle. Lavinia is an orphaned indentured servant ... 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. She is the author of The Kitchen House and most recently Glory Over Everything.

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