Imagine your entire family gone. No memory of who you are or where you came from, and suddenly being pushed into a world you’re unfamiliar with.
Lavinia is a young girl who is in such a situation. Brought to a Virginian plantation by a captain who found her on a ship, alone and sick. She is placed in the kitchen house with a group of slaves who quickly become her family. But Lavinia isn’t used to the segregation and she doesn’t quite understand the nuances of her new place in the world.
With people like Mama Mae and twins, Fanny and Beattie, her world isn’t just loneliness and heartache. She makes her place in their world, not knowing that one day she’ll soon have to join a different crowd.
Kathleen Grissom brings to light the hardships of being a slave in the 18th century and how one child can change things for the better. The Kitchen House is a tremendous story with underlying tones of issues still going on today. A roller coaster ride of emotions, it’s incredibly difficult to put down. Grissom manages to give two sides to her story without drowning in details and getting lost in the timeline. Alternating chapters between the two main characters, Lavinia and Belle, make for a well-rounded book.
Be prepared if you choose to pick this book up. You will finish it and be emotionally exhausted. But you won’t regret adding this to your bookshelf!