Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom Book Review

I've never heard of this book until some out-of-town friends I know read it in a book group, so I decided to read it. What a truly terrific read, not sure why I never heard of it before. While immigrating from Ireland, Lavinia loses both parents so at seven-years-old she is sent to work in the captain's home to pay off her cost of passage. The slaves in the kitchen house become her family as she grows up feeling like a servant, but at the same time well aware of the differences between them. What could become trite, turns into an interesting historical tale with character driven action and a somewhat sense of a true feel of what life was like back in a 1790's plantation.

Eventually she is accepted into the "big house" and becomes the woman of the home, but she finds that even though she is technically free, she really is still at the whim of her husband, who is also her "master". Great take on black and women's rights of the era. Heart-warming at times, yet fast paced and sometimes gritty as scenes of the real world of the era emerge.

I listened to, and highly recommend the audio book version of this title read in turns by Lavinia (Orlagh Cassidy ) and Belle (Bahni Turpin) Great narration and voice choices! Bahmi is one of my favorite narrators with a beautiful, evocative voice.

We own both the regular and large print version, and the audio book is available on MyMediaMall.  A CD copy of the book may also be requested by Inter Library Loan at the Reference Desk.

JH

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