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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

gripping!

The narrator voices were perfect for the story. characters were well developed, story was engrossing.

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  • Rachel
  • Fitzroy, Australia
  • 04-06-13

A must listen

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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  • sue
  • 04-13-15

Excellent a real gem

This is my type of book, easy to follow, tear jerking great human story.
Loved the narration and could not wait to hear more and more.......
Any one recommend more like this?

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SunnyB
  • 09-22-16

Beautifully told and narrated

Both touching and sad, this is a well written story beautifully told. The narrators are excellent. Highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Carol
  • 03-02-16

excellent

this book is excellent and beautifully told. it is sad, funny and heartwarming. you become invested in the characters

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Catherine
  • 08-03-14

Excellent

Where does The Kitchen House rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Not my favourite, but still really good - best 'listen to' book is The Help, (by far!!)

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Kitchen House?

I really liked all of it. It gives a real insight to how slaves were treated and more to the point, mis-treated. Learned a lot about the slave trade from this book many things I had no idea about. It is amazing that this kind of thing actually happened and is maybe still happening somewhere else in the world even now.

What about Orlagh Cassidy and Bahni Turpin ’s performance did you like?

They were both very good narrators. Orlagh Cassidy's Irish accent wasn't the best, but overall she was easy to listen to. Bahni Turpin is always a joy to listen to. I wish she had have had a bit more of the book devoted to her narrating. 65% of it was Orlagh Cassidy.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Fiction novel but based on historical facts!!

Any additional comments?

The book was good in the beginning, then seemed to get a bit boring - well, boring is a bit harsh, but it got less interesting. I was temped a couple of times to give up, but I was glad I didn't as it then got very interesting. If you get to the same point that I did - don't give up. It has a lot of lovely characters that you will find heartwarming. Parts of the book, towards the end had me in tears. Well worth a listen!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Binx
  • 09-08-18

Antabellum history and the 5th dimension

This started so powerfully I was hooked, I spent most of summer listening wit such intent to this story I surprised myself. The prologue makes little sense as it is so emotionally charged but by the end it is as transparent as glass.
You will grow to love and hate the characters in turn but be rest assured there will be times when you have to push yourself to go on.
It is a human a story as you can find and I will in time no doubt listen to it again as the story saids so much about the terrifying power held in the hands of so few over the lives and destiny’s of so many.
Thank you Kathleen

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-13-18

gripping, raw and deeply moving story

this book takes you to the true experiences of slavery from plantation masters who are portrayed from kindest to nasty. it is deeply moving and makes you feel like you are in each chapter right there in the room as it is happening.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • mizzy
  • 03-20-18

Will send you to sleep

I love my black history slavery audio stories and the best thing about this audio was the end.
I paid for this audio of The Kitchen House, so I continued to listen to it. In the first 20 chapters, so many characters passed away. So many confusing characters with the same names or nick names. I had to keep rewinding the audio to remember who was who. There was no story line and this audio just dragged on. By chapter 52 (in the last hour) I finally picked up the jist of this boring audio and then a whole new bunch of characters was added. Boring!

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  • Jenny
  • 06-26-17

A beautiful and moving story!<br />

I couldn't stop listening to this compelling story brought to life, even more, by the wonderful narrators.

The story was about the lives of slaves, in the 18th Century, working for a wealthy plantation owner in Virginia and how they were treated. It was a roller coaster of emotions and at times made me tearful and ashamed of how white people treated their slaves. It was also full of hope and the importance of family pulling together no matter what life threw at them.

It was a touching story which made me care what happened to the characters and I was so engrossed in the story that time flew by. Many a night I found myself listening far into the wee hours making me a little tired the next day but it was worth it.

I would definitely recommend this book and I put it in my top five!!!?

I have now downloaded the second book by Kathleen Frisson which continues the story of The Kitchen House. and I can't wait to start reading it. I'm sure I'm going to be listening again in the wee hours! What enjoyment!

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  • Ruby Childs.
  • 09-23-15

Loved this,.

Had trouble startinga new book, I was so caught up in the story & the characters felt real. i will read this again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lou Lou
  • 03-12-15

Fantastic

I enjoyed every aspect of this audiobook and story. It kept me interested all the way through. I'd definitely recommend it and I can't fault either of the narrator's - in my opinion they were both brilliant.

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  • Rachel
  • 07-29-15

A must listen

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lyndel
  • 01-31-16

Laudanum And Antebellum

I'm forever appalled
at the vicious cruelty of Americans towards negro slaves. Engaging yet very sad. Lavinia brought up an indentured servant when orphaned grows up loved by the household slaves. The novel evolves into the adult life of a young pitiful woman, deliberately isolated whilst kept in luxury. A white woman loved by servants, despised by her husband in favour of a kitchen slave. He is, at best a drunken rapist who fathers many slave children. Lavinia' story tells of her captivity to custom and her husbands hideous whims.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful