The Kitchen House: A Novel

Front Cover
Touchstone, Feb 2, 2010 - Fiction - 368 pages
2236 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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Loved, loved, loved this page turner! - Goodreads
Difficult to read at times. - Goodreads
A compelling book; great storytelling. - Goodreads
Such an awful non-ending! - Goodreads
I loved the writing style here. - Goodreads
Worth a read, but found the plot a little lazy. - Goodreads

Review: The Kitchen House

User Review  - Eliana3 - Goodreads

The Kitchen House(Kathleen Grisson) is a moving and emotional book. The way the author captures you it's as if you're in the book yourself. You develop relations with each character and find yourself ... Read full review

Review: The Kitchen House

User Review  - Jess - Goodreads

This book was like having one giant anxiety attack, but in the best way possible. Basically, this story centers around a plantation family and their family of slaves. A young, white Irish girl 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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