I used to love writing book reviews back in my grade school (non-school) days. Lately I am reading more (thanks to Book Club and my special project) so I thought I’d share some recommendations or dissuade you from wasting your time. Today’s Brief Review is on “The Kitchen House” by Kathleen Grissom.
We read this for book club a month or two ago. I love historical fiction so I had high hopes for it. Okay, high hopes might be a stretch but it looked interesting. And if you know me, interesting is important, otherwise I simply fall asleep every time I try to read and never even finish it for the discussion (hangs head in shame).
Back to The Kitchen House… At the beginning, you meet this girl who has come to live with the slave families on this big plantation in the south. She is white but becomes part of the slave family and truly loves them as her own family. There’s some great character development, some heartbreaking tragedies, and you can invest in the story (and admittedly, I never fell asleep while reading it). And then the raping and pillaging gets out of control. I mean, we know there was some of that going on in those days and I knew the book would have some of it… but come on! This was out of control. By the end of the book, the entire story had turned into the raping and pillaging. Tragedy. And entirely too much.
I can’t exactly give this book my rousing endorsement because of the intensity of the raping and pillaging. I won’t say you can’t read it, but I will say you may be able to find better historical fiction involving slaves, plantations, wealthy slave owners, and life in the south without enduring quite so much raping and pillaging.