25 Books to Read Before You Die

Recently Viewed clear list

The Powell's Playlist | August 6, 2014

Graham Joyce: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Graham Joyce

The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit is set on the English coast in the hot summer of 1976, so the music in this playlist is pretty much all from the... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $16.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
5 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

The Kitchen House


The Kitchen House Cover

ISBN13: 9781439153666
ISBN10: 1439153663
Condition: Standard
All Product Details


What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 8 comments:

gaga4bks, December 5, 2012 (view all comments by gaga4bks)
This is a great, uncomplicated, and exciting read! The chapters were written in the voice of two different characters revealing different points of view for several major events throughout the book. There were many times as I read that I gasped aloud during silent reading in class which startled the students. Then, of course, I was forced to read a short excerpt to them, but cut it short so not to reveal too much info. As it turns out, there were two students who begged to borrow my book when I finished. Yay! Can't wait to read a sequel or continue a series!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Wendy C Feltham, April 2, 2012 (view all comments by Wendy C Feltham)
The Kitchen House tells the story of Lavinia, a little orphaned Irish girl who becomes an indentured servant on a plantation in the late 1700s, the slaves who raise her and become her family, and the plantation owners. Lavinia's life changes when she grows up. The author explains in her postscript that she spent a lot of time in museums and researching old documents in order to create this piece of historical fiction. She first told the story just through Lavinia's voice, and later added alternating chapters by Belle, the slave in the plantation's kitchen house who is closest to Lavinia. I liked their contrasting perspectives and the depth of their relationship. Although I have read many books about the days of slavery, this story brings out even more shocking and horrible details, and since the characters are well developed, their anguish and the limitations of their lives seem very real. I really cared about many of the characters, and some of the complex relationships among the different characters were new to me. I was fascinated and horrified by the bizarre methods used by doctors to treat patients with illnesses, both physical and mental. Yet overall, I felt that the plot was too predictable and the "grand finale" too orchestrated.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
shaggypoppy, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by shaggypoppy)
A very well-written book with characters you believe in and root for. Difficult subject with many struggles, but absolutely worth it!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
mrrtmr, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by mrrtmr)

If it was possible to give this book 6 stars I would. Right from the beginning these characters pulled me into their lives. The story telling that went on between Belle and Lavinia made me feel like I was living their tragedies with them. I remember learning about slavery in school but reading this book made me really think about what it meant to be a slave.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
bookish, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by bookish)
What a wonderful book.Families are formed by love and trust ,not race,and the wealthy plantation owners lack both.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
 1-5 of 8 next

Product Details

Grissom, Kathleen
Touchstone Books
Indentured servants
Historical - General
Literature-A to Z
Slavery; American South; Plantation; Tobacco; Slaves; Irish; Ireland; Indentured Servitude; Lavinia; Belle; Mixed Race; Children of Slave Owners; Illegitimate; Servant; Master; Opium; White Slaves; Black Slaves; Pre-Civil War Era;
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.25 in 11.13 oz

Other books you might like

  1. Out Stealing Horses
    Used Trade Paper $3.50
  2. Sarah's Key
    Used Trade Paper $4.95
  3. The Road Home Used Trade Paper $4.95
  4. Lark and Termite (Vintage... Used Trade Paper $2.95
  5. House At Riverton Used Trade Paper $7.50
  6. The Housekeeper and the Professor
    Used Trade Paper $8.00

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

The Kitchen House Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Touchstone - English 9781439153666 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Grissom's unsentimental debut twists the conventions of the antebellum novel just enough to give readers an involving new perspective on what would otherwise be fairly stock material. Lavinia, an orphaned seven-year-old white indentured servant, arrives in 1791 to work in the kitchen house at Tall Oaks, a Tidewater, Va., tobacco plantation owned by Capt. James Pyke. Belle, the captain's illegitimate half-white daughter who runs the kitchen house, shares narration duties, and the two distinctly different voices chronicle a troublesome 20 years: Lavinia becomes close to the slaves working the kitchen house, but she can't fully fit in because of her race. At 17, she marries Marshall, the captain's brutish son turned inept plantation master, and as Lavinia ingratiates herself into the family and the big house, racial tensions boil over into lynching, rape, arson, and murder. The plantation's social order's emphasis on violence, love, power, and corruption provides a trove of tension and grit, while the many nefarious doings will keep readers hooked to the twisted, yet hopeful, conclusion." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "You will be thrilled by this intimate and surprising story that connects us with an unexpected corner of our history. Kathleen Grissom gives us a new and unforgettable perspective on slavery and families and human ties in the Old South, exploring the deepest mysteries of the past that help define who we are to this day."
"Review" by , "Kathleen Grissom peers into the plantation romance through the eyes of a white indentured servant inhabiting the limbo land between slavery and freedom, providing a tale that provokes new empathy for all working and longing in The Kitchen House."
"Synopsis" by , Gone with the Wind is turned inside out in this tragic, page-turning novel in which a white indentured servant girl lives and works with black slaves.
"Synopsis" by , In this gripping New York Times bestseller, Kathleen Grissom brings to life a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War, where a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate.

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.

"Synopsis" by , Lavinia, a seven-year-old Irish orphan with no memory of her past, arrives on a tobacco plantation where she is put to work as an indentured servant. Placed with the slaves in the kitchen house under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her new adopted family, even though she is forever set apart from them by her white skin. As Lavinia is slowly accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles an opium addiction, she finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When Lavinia marries the master’s troubled son and takes on the role of mistress, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare and lives are put at risk. The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail..
  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.