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!
Addicted to Audible!
I wavered back and forth in my opinion of this book, I kept thinking that maybe things might improve as the story unfolded. The historical accuracy was interesting and it kept me listening....Bahni Turpin's narration was excellent but Orlagh Cassidy, who I usually like, sounded as depressed as the plot. Lavinia started out as an interesting character and her confusion about her "place" in society was well written, but she didn't really evolve and then the ending was very abrupt. I don't see any comparison between this book and The Help, which was an all time favorite.
I kept waiting for something good to happen and just when it looked like things would improve for these characters, it turned tragic again. Although the story may have been pulled from similar events in history, I don't need to be reminded of man's cruelty for 13 hours. If you like tragedy, then you may like this book. If you like books that lift your spirits, save your credit for another book.
Truly a story that pulls you in and makes you care about the characters. It is definitely worth the read. However, because you are so invested in the characters, the end turns out to be a let down. Well developed characters don't get the ending they deserve. It was almost as if the author was unsure how to finish and wrapped it up too quickly. I was also somewhat disappointed some characters were never developed. However, the book is very moving, and I would still recommend it.
Hmm. A Gothic novel in the Victorian tradition: A beautiful protagonist, the innocent victim of evil men and appalling circumstances, faces one insurmountable tragedy after another. Nothing wrong with that of course, but for me the concept has a fatal flaw that I just couldn't get over: The author has basically co-opted the story of 19th century plantation slavery, but centered it around a white protagonist. I found this distasteful. Had it been based on a historical incident, I would have forgiven it. But the author's post-script implies some vaguely channeled inspiration that finally made me cringe.
I enjoyed the story although sad at the plight women and slaves were faced with during that time period, it captured me immediately.
This book grabbed me from the opening moments and did not let go until well after it ended. It is emotionally a seesaw--highs and lows that change unexpectedly throughout the almost 13 hours.
The pacing is great! The story moves well. I appreciated there was no "downtime" where I wished something would happen. Something was always happening.
I loved the characterizations. The main and minor characters were individual with easily understood dispositions, personalities, appeals, and revulsions. There were many times while listening that I was mentally cheering for some and booing other characters. I was completely drawn into their plantation world before the Civil War.
With the main character being an orphaned Irish girl whose parents died on the ship from Ireland, Lavinia grabbed my heart and never let go. That the ship's captain was a plantation owner surprised me. His bringing her to his plantation as an indentured servant seven years old had never crossed my mind as a possibility. Growing up with a toe in the Big House world and mostly in the slave population gave Lavinia's story even more poignancy.
If you are a reader who enjoys period pieces, you will enjoy this book. If you are a reader who enjoys good characters in a well paced story, don't miss this book.
When I wake up in the morning thinking about the book I am listening to I would say it is definitely a good book. The Kitchen House is a wonderfully well written and narrated book. I found myself looking forward to having the time to myself to turn it on. I am sad I have finished it. While some of the situations in the book are disturbing, they were reality in the time period.
The Kitchen House is rich in description, authentic in emotion, and satisfying in plot. This aptly written family drama efficiently recreates the life of slaves as part of a family - not just their own, but of the owner's family as well. The reader will enjoy following Lavinia's journey from a lost orphan and slave to the lady of the house and will share her hopes and disappointments. Her journey is juxtaposed by Belle's, an unrecognized member of the white family which she serves, who struggles to escape the bonds of family and fear of the unknown. Although the missed connections and coincidental plot twists can lead to some frustration for our heroine (and the reader), overall this book provided a complete and engaging family saga set against the backdrop of slavery as a way of life. Both romantic and tragic, the excellent audio performance by two narrators will sweep you into the Kitchen House to experience homey comforts, sugared moments, and bittersweet insights.
I listened to it on a road trip and it kept me entertained.
No.the story was predictable and it felt like20th century characters were dropped into the 19th century.
Narration was done really well.