The character development inside what certainly is a historically interesting tale was painfully shallow. While this story did portray the plight of the human situation, it did so with characters largely devoid of the human spirit. This is as certain a disservice to the slaves, women, amd masters of the era as iit is to the reader today.
Disappointed I finished a book that I could tell early on was not worth the
Very engrossing story with well developed characters. I had a difficult time going to bed at night because I wanted to keep listening. The narration is excellent and feels more like an audio production rather than being read a story. The subject matter can sometimes feel rather depressing, however, Grissom's writing is true with the time period. I highly recommend this novel.
Kathleen in FL
I have long been a student of slavery and the Civil War. My personal library overflows with slave narratives and historical books on slavery, as well as historical fiction of that sad era in American history.
Kathleen Grissom brings to life her story of a young indentured servant who is orphaned on a ship bringing her family from Ireland. The loving and intimate relationships between the seven year old child and the African slaves who care for her on the 1780's era Virginia plantation are wonderful. These are exactly the kind of deep friendships I have had with women of color throughout my life.
The novel reminds us of the evils of slavery, particularly the vulnerable position of young women at the hands of white masters and overseers. The painful separations of parents and children are recounted here, as well as the belief among many slaveholders that their "property" was sub-human and without feelings.
The narrators were right on target with both the Irish accent of the heroine, the speech of the slaves, and the accents of the Virginians in the big house. My family is from Virginia and I heard my grandfather as I listened to the narration. This book went far too quickly.
I just couldn't stop listening, very enjoyable.
The narration made me feel like I was in the story.
I live on an island off the coast of Maine. Since I installed a "doggie door" I am now retired from "Letting The Dogs In and Out"!
The story moved along and kept my interest piqued. It was a good portrayal of good and evil. The pre civil war era is vividly depicted.
I loved all the character development and setting. I am finding myself more drawn to great fiction set in the past. I felt truly transported to another time and place. I loved all the characters, even the ones that you where not suppose too, I truly felt you could understand why they where the way they where. It also helps me appreciate the world I live in and modern day morals and all the choices an individual now has.
This book was written by the author, for the author. It's a Mary Sue story, to the tee...
"The prototypical Mary Sue is an original female character in a fanfic who obviously serves as an idealized version of the author mainly for the purpose of Wish Fulfillment. She’s exotically beautiful, often having an unusual hair or eye color, and has a similarly cool and exotic name. She’s exceptionally talented in an implausibly wide variety of areas, and may possess skills that are rare or nonexistent in the canon setting. She also lacks any realistic, or at least story-relevant, character flaws — either that or her “flaws” are obviously meant to be endearing… Other than that, the canon characters are quickly reduced to awestruck cheerleaders, watching from the sidelines as Mary Sue outstrips them in their areas of expertise and solves problems that have stymied them for the entire series." From Themarysue website
Exotic beauty? Like the stunning redhead, with the unusual, striking eyes? Unusual name? Lavinia? An Irish girl plucked from the Green Isle and placed in a dusty USA farm?
The only surprise in this story was that there weren't any gratuitous sex scenes (of which I am happy). The fluff about opium addiction was insulting, to be honest, having seen the real effects of addiction compared to the glib way it was treated as a "pity me, pity me, life is awful".
The part that tops it off, however, is the author's comments at the end! It's actually very funny, she really thinks she's got a piece of literary genius on her hands, the poor dear.
Kitchen House is one of the best books I have ever read.I could not put it down.I do hope there is another book by this first time author in the making.
Avid reader and foodie. I read mostly fiction but thanks to my awesome book club I am branching out and finding some great books!
A better storyline.
I agree with one of the other reviewers- this book is a total downer and the protagonist Lavinia has to be one of THE dumbest women ever conceived in literature. I can handle a sad book, but this was just overkill. I didn't think the writing was very good, nor the story. I could sort of see where the author was going with things, but it just kept going downhill. The story got sadder and sadder, and weirder and weirder. The book ended, and I was confused and annoyed.
This is nothing like the Help- sorry for anyone who thought that, but really?? No way.