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Publisher's Summary

Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family.

In time Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master's opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.

Through the unique eyes of Lavinia and Belle, Grissom's debut novel unfolds in a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets, and familial bonds.

©2010 Kathleen Grissom (P)2017 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Wow!

Excellent book! This book kept me wanting to listen past my bedtime. I couldn’t go to sleep wondering what would next. Need to find another great story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A Great Listen

A very good read, this story has twists and turns I did not expect. The narrators did a great job of adding emotion and drama into their performance. It kept me enthralled until the very end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Captivating read!

This was a great book. . .well written, timely and very graphic, without being crude. The readers were exceptional. There were so many characters, at times I got overwhelmed, but the readers were authentic and their realistic voices helped me move forward with greater understanding. At times I was even brought to tears; the cruelty of people is surprising. I'm so glad I read this book. It's given me much deeper appreciation for people who struggled during the late 18th century. A must read for anyone who likes historical fiction at its best.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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had me riveted the whole time!

wow! i loved all those characters...except the ones i hated!! a very intense novel! insight into times past.

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EXCELLENT BOOK

Great Book To Listen to and very Exciting! The story was very suspenseful... I would definitely recommend.

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Powerful

This is another of my MUST read and listen , I enjoyed this one so much! Not only a great story line and well written characters but an incredibly well done for the audible work. A time in our American history that should never be forgotten. When I find an audible I like I will look for the ' voice or voices of the book again .

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Emotional roller coaster!!

everything about this Nlnovel was incredible to me. I have no complaints. the kitchen house is a must read, I definitely recommend it.

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Truly an amazing story of our past

I almost put this book down when I first started it but something kept me listening. As the book continued I grew more interested and could not stop listening. A fantastic book. Truly a troubling past!!!!

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Unexpected storyline

I like it because it was unpredictable! Unique read. I was hoping for redemption of some of the characters. I'm excited to read the sequel!

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Captivating story with amazing narrators

I loved everything about this book. We listened to it on a long road trip and the time just flew by. The narrators make the story come alive. I didn't want it to end!