I just loved this book! Great narrators, great storyline, great pacing. If you love family sagas and historic-based fiction, this is for you. I was hooked from the first line. Enjoy!
I purchased this to listen to in my car, but it was so good that I had to bring in my mp3 player and listen to it while I was cleaning the house and doing other things at home. I wasn't too happy with the way that it ended, but right up until the end I could not stop listening to it.
Would recommend to all! Could not stop listening!!
Story of slavery & the attitudes of masters toward their slaves with the cruelty and the kindness...so interesting!!!!
Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.
The Kitchen House succeeded in transporting me to 1790 Virginia, where the Capitan takes in 7-year-old Lavinia, a white-orphaned Irish immigrant as a servant. Lavinia however, would eventually make it to an upgraded status because of her colour.
Belle, a strong, authentic character with a giant personality and a thick southern black drawl suffers great tragedies because of her position as black property. The story and character development are so rich as this drama unfolds, I could feel the helplessness, fear and pride of each of the slaves in my gut. Some of the slaves/servants live in The Big House with the Captain and his wife Martha, and the others live in the The Kitchen House.
This book was difficult to get through, yet just a hard to put down. Not too many light moments. Grissom skillfully depicts the desperation of these people who you come to know through rape, torture, murder, incest, physical and mental abuse and opiate addiction. As the reader you watch as Lavinia grows up and leaves her black family, Mamma Mae, Papa George, Belle, and the rest of the slaves. Because she is white, she is offered education and status, and settles for marrying Marshall, son of the Captain and Martha so she can return to the only home and family she ever knew. Marshall, a stereotypical villain, inherits his parents’ plantation and Lavinia thinks life will be grand back with Mama, Papa and the twins Beattie and Fanny. A cruel and abusive alcoholic, Marshall mentally and physically abuses Lavinia or “Abinia,” as her slave family calls her, and she becomes increasingly weak and shallow. I truly wish Grissom did not take this well-rounded character that had so much potential, and turn her into a flat, depthless wuss. That’s where the book lost some momentum for me. The other characters remained strong and convicted right to the end.
The impeccable historical research, coupled with the heart-wrenching story is what makes this book so “grab out and pull you in” realistic. Glad I didn’t pass this one up.
I can't say enough about the performance. Orlagh Cassidy and Bahni Turpin are what makes audiobooks so wonderful. They took a great book and turned it into a masterpiece. Bravo!
I don't think of myself as a huge fan of historical fiction, but this book was really great. I agree that if you liked "The Help," you will also enjoy this book. The only flaw I could see was that the last few chapters seemed very rushed, without the tremendous attention to detail and character development typical of the vast majority of the novel. I still give it a big thumbs up! Unlike some historical fiction, the characters were so well drawn out that it was easy to relate to them even when living in an entirely different time. You understood their motivations, their hopes and their dreams. I will listen to this book again, I am certain!
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.
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.
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.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
This is one of my favorite audio books . . . for the honesty in which it is written, for the wonderful characters, for the way it depicts that integrity is much deeper than the color of our skins . . . was back then, still is today . . . makes me recall one of the verses in the Bible, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to go to heaven. Not because of his money, but because of how much he LOVES his money . . . and how unwillingness he is to part with it . . . This book has some really difficult parts to listen to, but they are necessary. Powerful people used (and still use) other people, black and white alike. This is a lesson in America's history . . . and not a proud one.
Although I thought that THE HELP was better narrated,THE KITCHEN HOUSE has more depth. Another human interest story about the injustice of human enslavement and particularly of
Black people. But THE KITCHEN HOUSE had a broader scope about the limited freedom of all the most vulnerable: the poor and uneducated as well as vulnerable youth, and women as a whole.
There are many surprising twists and turns in this story. I found myself rooting for triumph over evil, but the happy ending never did come...it was quite depressing really.