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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (4)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (4)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine
- Maryland (1)
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi
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- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (6)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas (1)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (3)
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming (1)
- *Washington, D.C.

International:
Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


6 / 25 books. 24% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dark, Haunting Slavery Novel an Affecting Debut

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

It must be too early in the morning for writing plot summaries, because the words just aren't coming to me today.  Luckily, someone's already done the work for me.  Here's the polished, professionally-written back cover blurb for The Kitchen House:    
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 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, Kathleen Grissom's debut novel unfolds in a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets, and familial bonds.    
Sounds intriguing, right?  It is.  As Lavinia's pulled into the warm embrace of Belle's family (though Belle, herself, remains standoffish), the reader comes to love them as well.  It's difficult not to become absorbed in their dramas and heartaches, of which there are, of course, many.  Lavinia's stunningly naive, sometimes too much so to be truly believable, but she's also a sympathetic character whose trials are many.  The reader feels for her as well, especially when she makes disastrous mistakes that will inevitably lead to only misery and pain.  If The Kitchen House sounds like a dark, haunting tale, that's because it is.  But it's also a rich, affecting story about the true meaning of family and the desperate lengths we will go to in order to protect those we love.  I read it in one sitting; it's that compelling.  

(Readalikes:  Reminded me of other stories about slavery and class/racial struggle, like The House Girl by Tara Conklin; The Cutting Season by Attica Locke; The Help by Kathryn Stockett; and others)

Grade:

 If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence, sexual innuendo/content and other mature subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of The Kitchen House from Costco (I think) with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.  

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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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