A New York Times best seller and word-of-mouth phenomenon, this is perfect for book-groups and fans of The Help and The Postmistress.
"You must not become too friendly with them," she said. "They are not the same as us."
"How?" I asked. "How are they not the same?"
In 1791 when seven-year-old Irish orphan Lavinia is transported to Virginia to work in the kitchen of a wealthy plantation owner, she is absorbed into the life of the kitchen house and becomes part of the family of black slaves whose fates are tied to the plantation. But Lavinia’s skin will always set her apart, whether she wishes it or not. And as she grows older, she will be torn between the life that awaits her as a white woman and the people she knows as kin....
©2013 Kathleen Grissom (P)2013 Random House AudioGo
Wow, just wow. I think this is hands down the best audiobook that I have listened to on Audible. I highly recommend this book.
The Kitchen House is set in the late 1700's/early 1800's in Virginia, and tells an enchanting tale of the complicated relationships and interactions between the slaves and their owners, with poor Lavinia, an orphaned white Irish girl, caught somewhere in between. Told from two points of view in alternating chapters, we hear from Lavinia and Belle (a slave) as their story unfolds. Taking us through from when Lavinia is brought to the plantation, her growing up among the slaves and her transition into being a 'white woman' as she becomes an adult. The first half of the story was interesting, but it was the second half that had me gripped.
Kathleen Grissom has written a treasure in this book. The story is both horrific and beautiful at the same time. Not shying away from the difficult sections, just puts the rest of the story into better perspective. The key theme of the book is the complexities of the relationships between Lavinia, the family and their slaves. The characters she develops are well rounded and you can't help keep listening to find out how things turn out.
The book is read by two narrators, one for Lavinia and one for Belle, and both do a fantastic job. Adding just the right sentiment to the words, and keeping the individual personality of the narrator at the time.
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