I have listened to over 250 audible books and this is the first book that has moved me to write a review. I agree with all the accolades this book has received. Yes, there are a few tough scenes but that is what happened during those years of slavery. I would love to see a sequel and a movie should be made. The only criticism I have is that it ended too soon. I wish the author would have extended the story just a little longer. I just finished it and am starting it again.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
This is a bleak book. While you wait for something, anything, good to happen to these people, it's one horrible injustice after another. It's engaging because of the narration. But, you end up feeling spent.
I ended this book with very mixed feelings - it was riveting enough to keep me from being productive around the house, it is masterfully narrated by great readers, and it certainly debunks the myths of the noble plantation master.
But there were several plot lines that stretched credulity - that a white child (indentured servant) would be so readily trusted throughout a slave community in an unstable household, that this child could grow up to tempt marriage offers from two members of the landed gentry of the area (a simple farmer, yes, but to see Virginians crossing class lines is hard to believe), and that this same individual could miss facts right under her nose and keep silent about other crucial facts for decades.
One reviewer described it as a Gothic novel - and that it is, combining alcoholism, pedophilia, laudunum addiction, sadism, lots of melodrama around lost children and parents, a Bronte-like house fire, and a heroine who maintains her purity of spirit throughout the perils that await her. You can almost envision her tied to railroad tracks.
And although the main protagonist certainly suffers from the dastardly deeds at the hands of her own Simon Legree, it is difficult as a listener to feel much compassion for her since what's happening to the slaves on this plantation is far worse and somewhat glossed over by the way the author keeps having them bounce back from being victimized by extreme brutality to resume their roles as sad-but-wise-and-loving house servants. The author waxes between fascinating and believable detail (field slaves stealing boards from the smokehouse to boil to get salt into their food) and hackneyed stereotypes of a mammy. I ended up giving Grissom credit for trying to be honest about slavery and forgave her the fall into stereotypes, but other readers might not.
I don't think of myself as a huge fan of historical fiction, but this book was really great. I agree that if you liked "The Help," you will also enjoy this book. The only flaw I could see was that the last few chapters seemed very rushed, without the tremendous attention to detail and character development typical of the vast majority of the novel. I still give it a big thumbs up! Unlike some historical fiction, the characters were so well drawn out that it was easy to relate to them even when living in an entirely different time. You understood their motivations, their hopes and their dreams. I will listen to this book again, I am certain!
This book was so good that when I finished it I started right over and the second time was even better. I caught so much that I missed the first time. The Narrators were excellent and easy to listen to. The biggest problem was I couldn't stop listening. I enjoyed this book as much or more than The Help and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
This book is perfect in every way. The narration is spot on, in tone and pace, a match to the depth of the plot. The character development was so expertly accomplished. I cared for each kind character and I truly despised the villains.
I felt that the characters were true to the times and am surprised that some of the reviewers expect the characters to behave as if they were living in this century.
I too loved the ending, it was perfect and am so very glad the author did not go for the obvious, well you know if you read the book. THANK YOU Ms.Grissom, we are ready for your next novel.
This is a great book and I could not stop listening but it is a sad story and at times I just wished something would go right rather than one disaster after another. I still recommend it highly and the narration was excellent, I immediately recognized Belle's voice from "The Help"
I was so happy to find this book as it reminded me of 'The Help.' Another book about slavery in the South but a twist not in 'The Help' which is a white endentured slave. Again a glimpse in how life was back then for all involved: white children with tutors, tutors with not so good intentions, ranch hands, the black families that worked with the white family and how the black families/slaves cared for their masters and also themselves. Gilimpses of unresolved anger and rage as well as the sweet glimpse of understanding another's pain. If you liked 'The Help' I believe you will like 'The Kitchen House'
Yes! It's such a great story!
Momma Mae. Her inspired wisdom tendered with compassion warmth and strength is so embraceable. But...all the characters are unique. Good or bad, they're there with each facet clearly reflecting their well developed characters.
Rankin...so I could poison him.
Loved every minute of this book. Everyone should read this book. What's not to love! If I could give it 10 stars I would.
Dont read this expecting a light or easy listen! It was one crisis after another, one tragedy after another... After awhile, you could predict what was going to happen. I am sure it was historically accurate and the writing was good. However, Lavinia, one of the main characters, had to be the densest woman ever- even by late 18th- early 19th century standards. I guess I wasn't expecting to listen to so much angst driving home in traffic after a bad day at work.