The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom, was one of those books that was recommended to me a while ago (thanks, Sarah!) and I kept putting off reading it because I knew I was not going to like it and whoa. I was wrong. I FLEW through this book, hardly remembering to feed my child or leave the house every day. I think I finished it in a day. Seriously. I sat in a parking lot and read it just to get a little farther. I absolutely devoured this book, and while it’s not happy (it reminded me of Little Bee with the sadness), I still loved this book.
The Kitchen House is the story of a white girl, Lavinia, who is orphaned on a ship coming from Ireland. Instead of moving into “the big house” with the other white people when she arrives at the plantation, she is sent to live in the kitchen house with the black women. She learns about family and love and of the incredible differences in lifestyles between these two groups of people in this time.
This book completely follows the “what if” questions. What if Lavinia had married someone else? What if the papers had been served earlier? What if… what if… what if?
I give this book a 9/10. While the book is depressing and overwhelming at times, I absolutely devoured it and would think it’s a fantastic book for a book club to read, because the questions that could be asked about what could have been are absolutely amazing.