The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
If you are looking for a book that will grip you and hold you tight until you get to the very last page, this is the one for you! This beautifully written, historical fiction novel is about a young white girl, Lavinia, who is raised among black slaves in the south at the turn of the 19th century. Since she’s raised among a loving, close-knit black family, she feels deeply that they are her family, but as she grows older, she is thrust into the world of the white family she is serves. We learn, along with her, how the intimate nature of the relationships that develop between the 2 races strongly conflict with the forced, artificial separation between them. (They love but they are not allowed to love.) And Lavinia is tragically trapped between the two.
What really pulled me in was the beautiful characters that are so poignantly drawn. I lived with the characters and felt their pull even when I wasn’t reading the book. I felt as though they were my family, they were drawn so artistically and deeply. I HAD to know what happened to each of them and when it wasn’t good, I felt it in my heart.
These characters were genuine, the story was captivating, and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened and didn’t want it to end at the very same time! This is what the experience of reading should be!