Thanks to Stephanie for reminding me I never announced Februaryâ€™s Book of the Month! For the month of February the book is going to be The Kitchen HouseÂ by Kathleen Grissom, about which Iâ€™ve been hearing really good things!
Hereâ€™s the synopsis from Publisherâ€™s Weekly:
Grissomâ€™s unsentimental debut twists the conventions of the antebellum novel just enough to give readers an involving new perspective on what would otherwise be fairly stock material. Lavinia, an orphaned seven-year-old white indentured servant, arrives in 1791 to work in the kitchen house at Tall Oaks, a Tidewater, Va., tobacco plantation owned by Capt. James Pyke. Belle, the captainâ€™s illegitimate half-white daughter who runs the kitchen house, shares narration duties, and the two distinctly different voices chronicle a troublesome 20 years: Lavinia becomes close to the slaves working the kitchen house, but she canâ€™t fully fit in because of her race. At 17, she marries Marshall, the captainâ€™s brutish son turned inept plantation master, and as Lavinia ingratiates herself into the family and the big house, racial tensions boil over into lynching, rape, arson, and murder. The plantationâ€™s social orderâ€™s emphasis on violence, love, power, and corruption provides a trove of tension and grit, while the many nefarious doings will keep readers hooked to the twisted, yet hopeful, conclusion.
Care to read along? Iâ€™ll be posting my thoughts at the end of the month!
Tags: The Kitchen House