The Kitchen House: A Novel

Front Cover
Touchstone, Feb 2, 2010 - Fiction - 368 pages
598 Reviews
Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of the highly anticipated Glory Over Everything, established herself as a remarkable new talent with The Kitchen House, now a contemporary classic. In this gripping novel, a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate at a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War.

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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BEGivens - LibraryThing

3.5 stars, rounding up I would highly recommend this book. The author really makes the characters come alive. It got to the point where I referred to my reading time before bed as my time with Lavinia ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nicolewbrown - LibraryThing

The book opens in the 1790s with the Captain returning from a long voyage overseas to his tobacco plantation in Virginia with an eight-year-old girl, Lavinia, in tow. Her parents were indentured to ... 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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