Review: The Kitchen House

The Kitchen HouseThe Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I lost track how many times I almost gave up reading this book. As a historical, there's something a little new in the book - the life of an Irish indentured servant in a slave holder household. Unfortunately, it's used more as a gimmick, with no exploration of how the born to slavery characters would really feel about this white girl who's placed on equal ground with them. Everyone else in the story is a character: the brutal over seer, the sadistic tutor, the weak but good hearted wife of the plantation owner, and of course, the fair minded slave owner who of course is also the father of one of the slaves who he loves dearly, but darn those societal pressures, he just can't forget that she's property. Perhaps it was a mistake reading this book so closely to having read All Souls Rising, where there's no romanticizing the life of a slave. But even then, I would have had problems with cardboard characters who remember their past at a dramatic rather than a natural pace and share information when it suits the author, not when the story would demand it.

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