Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (audio)

"What the color is, who the daddy be, who the mama is don't mean nothin.'  We a family, carin' for each other.  Family makes us strong in times of trouble.  We all stick together, help each other out.  That the real meanin' of family.  When you grow up, you take that family feelin' with you."

I've read so many wonderful books lately and this one was no exception!  This novel is set in the late 1700s and is told from two very different point of views: Lavinia, a young orphan from Ireland and Belle, the illegitimate daughter of the owner of the plantation.  After her parents die on a ship heading to America, she is taken in to live and work on a tobacco plantation.  Lavinia is eventually welcomed into the family of these working at the Big House.  As Lavinia grows up, she is torn between her adopted African-American family and her expected role as a young white women in society.  When she is forced to make a choice between the two worlds, everything she knows is put into question.

I really liked how this book incorporated the lives two very different women.  It showed not only the tragedy of slavery at the time, but of women as well.  Both Belle and Lavinia are left with very little choice on what would happen to them.  Even though the story was very sad, I felt it was very realistic and a wonderfully moving story of plantation life in the south.

This book was #4 on my top ten list of 2013.

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