Summary of The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom | Includes Analysis
The Kitchen House, Kathleen Grissom's debut novel, is a coming-of-age story about Lavinia, an Irish immigrant who grows up at Tall Oaks, a tobacco plantation in antebellum Virginia.
When Lavinia's parents, who owe passage to Captain James Pyke, die en route to America, Lavinia is taken in by the captain and his family. She is put to work as an indentured servant and sent to live in the kitchen house with Belle, the captain's illegitimate daughter. Lavinia suffers from amnesia and remembers nothing of her journey. The year is 1791, and she is only seven years old.
Belle, who is 18 when Lavinia arrives, is the daughter of a slave woman with whom the captain had been involved. When Belle's mother dies after she's born, the captain's mother cares for her and raises her in the big house...
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