I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
I could feel these characters in my bones. Lavinia, Mama, Belle, Marshall, all of them were as real as anyone I have ever met. An intimate look into life in the south in the late 1700's and early 1800's, this book warmed my heart, broke my heart and renewed my heart... all in one. I highly recommend this to anyone. Bravo to the readers!
I would be lost without audio books! I like several genres but mostly historical romance and courtroom dramas.
Kathleen Grissom weaves a tale of family that will keep you enthralled throughout the entire book. The lives of all the characters intertwine on the plantation giving us an insight into day to day life in the late 1700's. You cannot help but feel the love and the pain of each of the characters.
I passed this book by the first time and went on to download and listen to a few other okay. Coming across The Kitchen House a second time, I decided to download. I was captivated from the start. A truly sad time in our history, but the strength of the characters was simply amazing. I did not want this book to end, and am hoping there just may be a sequel!
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.
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.
This book was at times so heartbreaking and may make you cry! Everyone in this book goes through their share of hardships and it isn’t a happy book but there is just something about the story that is beautiful. I just don’t know how to express it but to say I loved this book!
Narrated by, Orlagh Cassidy & Bahni Turpin it was wonderfully done both narrators bringing these characters to life.
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.
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.
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
Herman Wouk's Pulitzer Prize winning fictional "The Caine Mutiny" (1951) has long been acknowledged as the best description of day to day life on a submarine in World War II, Erich Marie Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1929) is a chilling fictional account of German trench warfare in World War I. It's easy enough to read/listen to history books with lots of facts, but unless you are reading an autobiography or a journal, it's hard to imagine yourself in that time and place
Kathleen Grissom's "The Kitchen House" (2010) is a great piece of historical fiction that imagines the day-to-day life of an Irish indentured servant and her enslaved Black adopted family on a tobacco plantation in antebellum Virginia. The book doesn't address the 'big picture'. It's about the Irish indentured servant Lavinia, who has no memory of her past in Ireland and longs deeply to love and be loved; and Belle, the slave daughter of the white plantation owner, who is loved, but is in constant danger because of that love. Other characters in the book are richly drawn, from the initially indifferent plantation mistress, Ms. Martha, and her son, Marshall; and the slaves of the kitchen house, especially Belle and Lavinia's beloved Mama and Papa.
The utter lack of control these people had in the White, male world that was 17th and 18th century America was sobering. Lavinia's color gave her more opportunity, but as a woman, her place in life depended on marrying well. The slaves were the property of their owners who could and sometimes did exactly as they pleased with them.
I do wish Grissom had developed Belle more fully. The book, with it's alternating Lavinia/Belle chapters, is primarily Belle. Both narrators did well, and this is an Audible that does work well with two narrators. Some do not.
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I love to listen to books while I live my life. It makes mundane things interesting. I love a great series. I welcome recommendations!
I had to stop reading for awhile, and then go back to try to finish. To much pain and turmoil and nothing good EVER happened to the main character. NO hope or justice..