Friday, May 3, 2013

The Kitchen House

The Kitchen HouseThe Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The days of slavery. I feel like I was transported back in time.
It wasn't very pleasant either.

The story starts with a white girl who the 'Captain' saved in order to sell or use for his own work when her parents die. The young girl remembers nothing & is raised in the Kitchen House surrounded by the slaves that work the plantation. Lavinia knows nothing else but the love of her 'family' that raises her.
While the Captain treats his slaves as decent as could be in the time, his managers were horrid, who also taught the Captain's son, Marshall on how to treat others.
Just reading the treatment of the slaves from men who hated people because of the color of their skin was just hard to take in...

The story switches back between Lavinia & Belle, the woman who took Lavinia in her home & raised her, along with Mamma Mae, Papa, Uncle Jacob, Ben & so many others who work the fields.
Lavinia, the one who's heart was willing to do anything to help others - who just wanted to help her family out of the confines of slavery
Belle, the one who would have the people she loved the most taken away from her over & over.

I can't even begin to really tell the details of the story - its just life... everything that comes with it. Friendships, family, loyalty, heartbreak... add in abuse, mental illness, slaves who are impregnated by their Masters, it's just a story that tells of what life could be like in days past.

I think I loved this book because I became so attached to the characters. I didn't want anything happening to any of them, & yet, heart break is strung throughout the book. & I love a book that doesn't really have a predictable ending. I could appreciate the end of this book... not a total easy call, not a total happy ending, but enough for me to let these characters go in peace.
In the end, I'm just thankful for a different time in life... thankful that there were, even in the days of slavery, good people who cared about PEOPLE, no matter what.

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