I saw reviews that said this book is similiar to The Help. I must disagree as the Kitchen House is soo much more deeper and a totally different plot in this story versus The Help. Kitchen House went into the nitty-gitty about how slaves were treated but also the bond of the characters were so touching. I like the way the book toggled from Levania to Belle and I enjoyed the journey of the characters, my best character was Mama Mae (hated what happened to her). There was a lot of tragedy, loss, rape, etc. in this book) and The Help had NONE of that. I love The Help (book and movie) but this book has more substance.
This story is very fresh in its choice of viewpoint. It gives voice to individuals who might easily have been overlooked or stereotyped. Some of the people in power are miserable, while the powerless find true happiness, while remaining painfully, even catastrophically, vulnerable. Many interesting characters, both likeable and unlikeable, are developed fully over time, in all of their strength, weakness and human enigma. If you enjoy rich character development, this is the story for you. I must admit it made me cry quite a few times, so I'm glad I was alone when listening. Altogether a great book and well worth listening to in this lovely reading!
Native Californian, but lived in TX for 2.5 yrs where I joined a neighborhood book club and never looked back! I listen and read books! After 5 years of raving about audiobooks, I finally got my husband hooked!
I really thought I was going to love this book, and at first, I did. I couldn't wait to listen to it in the car. However, somewhere 1/2 way to 3/4 into the book, just as things were really changing for Lavinia, it felt rushed. Descriptions and character development was strong in the beginning, but became lackluster by the end. I cared a lot for Lavinia in the beginning, but found myself caring less as the story progressed. The Author took her time and care at the start, then rushed through the story. It was a good story, good concept, good read. But I couldn't shake the feeling of disappointment. It has nothing to do with the actual story ending. So I give it 3 1/2 starts.
If you want something utterly maudlin, something that violates the “show don’t tell” rule of character development, this is for you. I bought it because it is a crowd pleaser, and I enjoy many crowd pleasers in this category (like “The Help” or “Life of Pi” or “Water for Elephants”) but not when they are so unoriginal in style and plot. I don’t know whether or not to recommend it, because I don’t always find crowd pleasers so disappointing, but this surely didn't make the cut. To each his own.
I decided to get this book because one of the reviews said it was like the Help which I throughly enjoyed. It is nothing like the help. The first 1/4 of this book I thought was good. I did like the main characters especially Bell and I would have rather had her narrate the story then Lavinia. The story line just kept getting worse and worse. It was depressing, sad, and lacked everything good. I had an extremely hard time finishing this book and would should have shut it off, I kept thinking it has to get better but it did not. I did enjoy the authors note at the end to shed some light on way she let it get so disturbing. I had thought she went into a depression and wanted everyone to go along with her.
Boy, I really wanted to like this one....
... but can't seem to get into narratives that are written in first person. Hearing the tale told from the outside is as if I am watching a movie. Hearing the word "I" this and "I" that is so distracting that I mostly leave these books on the shelf rather than be disappointed to have wasted a credit when I cannot enjoy the story and give up, the remainder unheard. I wish some other reviewer had mentioned this, as it would have saved me a credit.
When I took off my headphones after I finished this book, I had to sit and ponder a moment as to how I felt about this book. In the end I was convinced, however that this was a great choice. It ended the way that it was supposed to.
When Orlagh and Bahni were speaking I could actually feel what they were feeling. I laughed when they laughed, and cried when they cried. I do not know if this was the due to the excellent way that Kathleen Grissom described her characters and their adventures or the way in which the readers voices captivated it.
This is a must listen for Historical Fiction lovers everywhere.
Wonderful I could not stop listening. The story was real and well written I am sad it is over and I am looking for another book by the same author.If you enjoy this book try Cane River or Red River both rich story telling at it's best!!