The Kitchen House
Kathleen Grissom (Adult Fiction)
The Kitchen House tells the story of seven-year old Lavinia, an Irish orphan with no memory, who is taken by the owner of a tobacco plantation to live on his estate. She is assigned to work in the kitchen house and placed in the care of Belle, the owner’s illegitimate daughter. The story takes several dramatic turns as tragedy befalls the household and Livinia’s race begins to interfere with her intended social status.
This is one of those books that opens with a heart-wrenching scene from the end of the book (current time) and then brings you back to the beginning of the story (the past). I love this writing technique as it immediately creates a sense of urgency and tension. Alternating narratives between Livinia and Belle, this book combines the best and worst of the human condition while masterfully pulling the reader along for an unforgettable journey from the big house to the kitchen house.