Review: The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

‘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?’

Lavinia lost both of her parents on their way from Ireland to America. She was brought to work at the tobacco plantation and assigned to the kitchen house.

The first months of her stay been difficult on a seven-year-old orphaned girl but the care of Belle and other plantation slaves, Lavinia soon begins feeling herself at home. The more Lavinia lives among the slaves she witnesses many dramatic, tragic events happening on the plantation between the slaves and the masters. She learns to love and respect the people who took her in and raised her like a daughter. Belle becomes more than a friend but a mother to young Lavinia.

However, their life at the plantation changes with the sudden death of the master. Lavinia is taken to the city to be educated with late master’s family and comes back years later as a real lady.

To be honest, it was quite difficult for me to get into the book, and for the first hundred pages, I was struggling very hard to keep reading. However, I wasn’t ready to give up, because the description really interested me and I was going to give the book a million chances. I’m so glad I did not give up on it. Because the novel turned out to be simply outstanding! So much going on! The new drama, new shocking events every time I turned another page. This novel kept me glued to the book until the very last page.

I loved the two perspectives; Belle’s and Lavinia’s. It gave the story two opposite points of view; the white girl and the slave. I enjoyed the characters and every character had its background and a personal story that couldn’t leave me indifferent. I loved reading about the relationship and the bounds were growing between Lavinia and the slaves. How confused she was the moment she realized how different their position is in the society was outside the kitchen house in the reality. How astonished she was when she could not be friendly with the people who raised her. The story of their friendship was very touching and heartwarming but also very tragic and unfair.

 

Rating: 5/5

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