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!
I bought this book because I absolutely love "The Help." The premise for this story is really interesting, about an Irish orphan girl who lives and works with slaves on a plantation. But I had to stop listening to "The Kitchen House" because it devolved into a series of awful, terrible, sickening events--and dread about what horrible thing would happen next. Yuck, give me a break.
Yowza. The black characters walked right out of "Gone With The Wind." There's a Mammy and an old Uncle Tom and even a Prissy. These are some awfully happy slaves, who laugh at their work and talk back to the master, etc. Just hit my ear wrong. If you want to read excellent books about relations between slaves and their white masters read "The Confession of Nat Turner" or "The Known World" (that one is great, and is about a black master and his slaves). Skip this melodramatic, poorly conceived potboiler.
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 read this book (and listened--a combination of the two) with complete astonishment that it that has received such near-universal rave reviews. It is shockingly racist and full of stereotypes that should have stopped being acceptable decades ago. A heroine whose husband is raping a slave girl--and yet continues to focus her anger on the victim. Who spends the entire book coming up with reasons why she is blameless for her part in slavery--and continues to compare her situation (even after she has become the mistress of the house) as equal to that of the slaves who are routinely raped, beaten, and killed. Convenient random "and then this happened" to fix flaws in the story. Dialogue that reads like a cheap dime store romance. Shallow plotlines that trivialize mental illness and addiction--with characters coming in and out of each when it is convenient for the story.
This book perpetuates stereotypes of the kind slavemaster and slaves who fight against freedom because they don't want to leave "home" and their kind keepers. Even in the end, freed slaves gladly stay to work for free to support a mistress who is held completely unaccountable by the story (or these characters) for her deliberate ignorance of how her actions (and inaction) and refusal to see how her looking past what is right in front of her face has contributed to their plight. The "heroine" (Lavinia) isn't plucky or likeable or sympathetic in any way.
Narration was good--particularly Turpin's, who made a ridiculous character almost realistic.
This may be the worst book I have ever read to the end. The reviews (and it being the only downloaded book I took with me on a lengthy trip) kept me going long after I should have thrown it away in disgust.
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.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
While some who have reviewed this book describe it as dark and sad, I would suggest that it is profound, moving and merely set in a dark and sad time in our country. Slavery and indentured servitude are themes that may not be easy topics about which to read, but this author and the amazing narrators have created a story that will captivate and engage you.
I found the story to be very moving, at times eliciting a strong emotional response. Who could listen to Lavinia and Belle tell about the events in their lives, both good and bad, without empathy? I could not.
Historical fiction lovers will not want to miss this great novel. It is a story that is at times painful, but always worthy of your time and intellect.
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.