The Kitchen House was the most recent book we read for my book club. Here’s a summary of the book.
When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family.
Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin.
Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.
The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.
We meet next week to talk about the book. I briefly talked to a friend about it yesterday when I saw her. I think we are going to have a good discussion about it.
The one thing the description doesn’t mention is that this takes place from the later 1700s through about 1810. People lived so differently then. It is just horrifying at times. The book was tragic yet seemed empowering in ways at the same time. I know I was in shock at a number of the scenes in the book.
The book was from the view of two of the characters. I don’t think one of the characters was the best choice for her own voice, but I did like that we could really see how the main character grew up throughout the book.
Overall, I did enjoy the book. It was a little hard to get into at the beginning because I felt like so much time had passed and events happened in the first part of the book, I couldn’t figure out where the book was going to go. But by the end of the book, I couldn’t put it down and needed to know what was going to happen next.