As I listened to this excellent read I found myself looking for opportunities to run more errands and exercising more frequently in order to be able to stay with the story just a little bit longer. I love long, well-told family sagas. The narration was spot on once I got past the initial rather disrupting fact that 7-yr-old Lavinia was obviously being narrated by a grown woman.
Antebellum stories by their very nature have a given set of plot and setting issues that are going to come up every time. Having a white indentured servant in the midst of the slaves brought a unique twist to this well-told story. The focus on the story centers on the relationships developed and I grew to care about these characters fairly quickly. I anticipated MUCH of the plot but kept reading, hoping I was going to be wrong. The first half or more of the book was wonderful: some serious events happening, but overall very enjoyable. The last half, as you see it barreling down the road straight at you becomes heart-wrenching and difficult to read as we watch characters we've come to care about live out the consequences of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time compounded by poor decisions.
Overall, this was a very satisfying read.
I really enjoyed this book. I first looked at it because I loved The Help, which, by the way is FANTASTIC in audiobook form. The Kitchen House wasn't quite up to The Help, but I did enjoy it and found myself driving more slowly to gain more listening time.
The narration is impeccable, the story is endearing and catches your attention. I would definitely recommend it.
This book is a great read. Wonderful characters, good plot, and insightful into the world of slavery. And yes, some of the content is not easy to stomach but the history of this subject is not pleasant either. It is interesting to observe our leading lady, Lavinia, as a child who sees no difference between black and white, she only responds to love, and how this difference is taught to her as she grows up and is separated from her black family because she is white. Both narrators are great in their roles. Loved this book.
My only quibble with the book is that whenever something positive was about to happen a quick reverse deus ex machina put the kibosh on it. If used once it would have been fine but to use it many times over made for a ham fisted narrative.
I picked this book because I really enjoyed Gone with the Wind and it was suggested to me by many websites as a similar listen. I did not expect the rape scenes to go into deep detail. I expect it in mystery and horror books but not in "period fiction". The result of the abuse weaves its way through a sordid story with uninteresting characters. I can understand conflict and I can understand the need to be authentic however, Gone with the Wind is so much better and there are no explicit violent scenes. It was as if I was watching a movie about an antebellum household and then, suddenly, a pornographic photo flashes across the screen - some details are just too much and do not match the tone or pacing of the book. I am still shocked at all the positive reviews. If you like watching Law and Order SVU for the horrible sick to your stomach feeling, then you might like The Kitchen House.
I'm ususally very stingy with a 5 star rating, but this one deserved it. The narration was amazing, the story drew me in and I miss the characters now that I've finished the book. this was an amazing glimse into slavery in the south.
I have listened to many books and this one is I will remember always. The narration was fantastic. I can't recommend it highly enough.
I was sad when I came to the end of this audible book. What a story, and what a well researched book! This book packs a full punch; be prepared to be living fully in the lives of these amazing characters. The story alternates between Lavinia, a white indentured girl, and Belle, the mixed race slave. As soon as I finished this book, I immediately bought my daughter a copy. She is totally absorbed she said, and deeply drawn into the story and it's characters. Can't wait for a second book from this author.