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Showing 1-10 of 4,506 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 5,375 reviews
on April 26, 2016
A well researched, historically accurate and heartbreaking story of survival and the boundless love of a mother, even for children not biologically her own. The story redefines the concept of family, showing how love can transcend traditional expectations. This is a book that grabs you by the heart and doesn't let go, even when you have finished reading. The characters feel very real in their flaws, failures, and tenacity to survive unbearable circumstances. The story is written from the perspective of two different women, which succeeds as a great device to make the story rich, full of life and terror, sorrow and love. Don't expect to be able to easily put this book down. The reader becomes so entrenched in the story, and so hopeful for a positive outcome for the characters, that it becomes a story that is hard to break away from, because you become part of their world.
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on June 23, 2016
I started this book and couldn't put it down. I really enjoyed the sophisticated simple way of writing the authors style displayed. The characters we were installing relatable and I connected with all of them. There are some heavy and sad themes in the shadow of America's original sin of slavery. Child abuse,sadistic behaviors,mental illness and alcoholism just to name a few. My favorite concept is the reminder that human beings can have a d always will make deep connections with people they identify and feel safe with regardless of race.
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on April 19, 2016
I don't know what the critic Tina means with her comments as I think Kathleen Grissom is a fabulous write & her extensive research must is evident! I loved this book from beginning to end and connected totally with the characters. It's one of those novels you just hate to put down, let alone end! Fortunately, for her new fans, she followed it up with, Glory Over Everything. I have now just finished the 2nd novel which picks up on some characters from the 1st novel and follows their stories! I lost a lot of sleep over these 2 novels but it was worth it! I loved Kathleen's writing style and it is hard to believe that The Kitchen House was her very first novel. Also making me happy is the fact she is now engrossed in writing another book about a Native American, which I can't wait to read.
Thank you, Kathleen, for sharing your beautiful talent!
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on July 30, 2013
Hands down one of the best books EVER! Since purchasing my Kindle three and a half years ago I've read more than 150 books. This book ranks in the top five. Try as I might, I never could figure out each character's thoughts or actions. I've read "The Help," "Crooked Letter Crooked Letter," and "Mudbound" each dealing with race relations in the South. As good as these books were they pale in comparison to this book. No spoiler here but the last 40 or 50 pages were such that I skimmed through them merely to finish the book, returning to read it more slowly after finding out how the book ended. I'm not in a book club but this is one that should appeal to all ages and readers.
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VINE VOICEon July 27, 2012
This is the story of a young girl, Lavinia, who while seven years old, onboard a ship from Ireland, loses her family. In the first pages of the book, she is being taken by the master of a plantation to work at his home as a servant. She is placed with the slaves, grows up with strong, Black women who, while battling their own demons, teach her about life and love. I have found that long after I read this, the characters stayed with me. It's not a happy, feel-good book, but is historically accurate, as far as I know, for the times. It reminds me very much of "The Help" but goes more into the heart and mind of the oppressed. I found myself very vested in what would become of Lavinia, Papa, Belle, and Mama. Plenty of action to keep the story moving along. Well worth the read.
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on June 21, 2015
Highly recommended read. Bought a few and gave as gifts. Everyone else loved it too.
One person stopped reading it fearing it would be too dark of a read. When I encouraged her to read on, she was glad she did.
You start out thinking you know the plight of one of the characters, yet you are wrong. It's not a predictable outcome.
Characters a beautifully developed. I found myself looking forward to finding out more about them every night (when I read) and was sad to miss them when the book was over.
It's story of grief, suffering and terrible atrocities, dysfunctional and functional families, acceptance, strong bonds of love and hope. It has characters who are born into power and privilege who abuse it and those who use it for good. It has characters born into oppression who crumble, fight or calmly stand tall. The two main characters fall somewhere between the two areas with each placed more into each side ~ a white orphaned female being raised by black slaves, and a black female who is denied her birthright to privilege... Again ~ I say it is not predictable ;-) Read it - you'll be very glad you did.
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on April 18, 2017
This is an intense and interesting story of slavery in Virginia. The characters have depth and I became attached to Lavinia and Belle. I learned about the Irish immigrants who became white slaves. The last half of the book is riveting, a true page turner!
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on May 8, 2017
I cannot say enough good things about his book....absolutely one of my favorites....I have loaned this book out more than any others...I have read it several times myself and loved it so much I also purchased it on audio. The book came quickly, was a fair value and was packaged well.
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on April 4, 2017
I found this book because my sister recommended it. The Kitchen House is an intriguing story and you feel as if you are there. The story has all the elements: love, tragedy, joy, courage, bonding and etc. Highly recommend, a great read!
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on June 26, 2013
Before reading this novel, I had the expectation that it was going to be gripping and unforgettable, but it definitely fell short of it. The plot was not engrossing; it had a typical story line where the young white innocent girl grows up with an African American family in the late 1700s in America, not noticing the physical difference between her African American family and herself. It was a decent attempt at character development, portraying Lavinia (the young white indentured servant girl from Ireland) as selfless and consistently proving her unconditional love for her African American family, and Belle (the young mulatto slave girl, fathered by her master) as a headstrong young woman, but only a helpless bystander in the white man's world. The characters had potential, but their personalities were way too extreme. It was not relatable, which is one of the most important traits a good historical fiction novel should have. The audience wants to be taken back to that time and feel what the people of that time had felt, and this just did not do it.

Lavinia was too pure, even at the age of 17, she only partly understood that her skin color was different from that of her adopted family. After the turmoil she had been through, there should have been more internal conflict within her to love her adopted family the same or to have that love falter. Even though her love for her family was unconditional, it just was not portrayed very intensely, which would have made the novel much more enticing. It was not touching; the audience understands the lowly status of African Americans during this time, and the way in which the white male dominated society, and this understanding should have made me cried when I realized how unconditional and ahead of her time Lavinia's love for her family was. Grissom just did not touch on that aspect enough. She made Lavinia's love natural and modern, which was disappointing. I wanted to see Lavinia struggle and finally realize that skin color and social norms did not determine love. As for Belle, she talked headstrong, but never really acted on any of her actions until the end of the novel. She just seemed helpless, always a damsel in distress. Her heroic moments were definitely overshadowed by her helplessness.

Overall, this novel was just simply alright. It was nothing too exciting, but I did want to know the ending, and it was sweet.
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