6837103So my work is starting up a book club, and The Kitchen House is the first on the list for the month of May.  I’ve been debating on joining/starting a book club for a while, so I figured I would give Kitchen House a try.  Best case, I like it and join the club to decimate my semi-hermit life, and worst case it’s something I add to my ‘never shoulda tried’ pile.

Thankfully, this falls under the Best Case scenario.

So The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom takes place down in the Southern U.S. in the 1800s when slavery was still alive and well.  Set on a typical tobacco plantation, we follow the life of Irish orphan Lavinia as she embarks on her new life as an indentured servant to the captain of the ship that brought her across the water and that her parents died on.

Lavinia makes fast friends with the slaves on the plantation, and is quickly adopted by them and shown the way of the world, and the differences between her slave family and the white family that owns her.

I loved the story.  Fast paced, emotional, with lovable and memorable character, I was not disappointed in The Kitchen House.  There are a few hard to stomach scenes, which if history is to be believed is typical of those times, but overall I quite enjoyed the book.  Just be prepared for one bad thing after another to happen to Lavinia and her family.

The only thing is that Lavinia never loses the naivety of her childhood.  As she grows she remains as naive, eager to please, and weak willed as the scared little orphan girl she was when she was first taken into her new life.  And because of her naivety, several of her friends and family are brought to death and ruin.

An interesting opening with a bittersweet and shocking ending.

Next up is Down, third in the latest Dungeons and Dragons graphic novel series.