Friday, August 10, 2012

There is a Book Review in Here Somewhere...





Scene:  An exceptionally stylish woman, delightfully pretty in that all-American girl next door way with impossibly beautiful hair (it’s my scene, so I’ll write it as I see it) sits by herself at the counter of a trying-too-hard-to-be-hip bistro/diner in a hotel on Waikiki.  

Absorbed in her Kindle, she does not notice that the waiter, Rajeesh, needs someone to talk to. 
Rajeesh: So what are you reading? 
The All-American girl looks up and knows before she even opens her mouth this is not going to end well.  

Tears immediately spring to her eyes.
Kristen:  Well…ummmmm…*sniff, sniff* … it’s this really terrific book about a little girl who is orphaned by her Irish immigrant parents.  And…*sniff, sniff* she becomes a slave on a Virginia plantation.  Well, not really a slave *cue tears* but an indentured servant.  It’s just… so sad, really. *Sniff, sniff and… tears*  
LONG PAUSE.  Tissues procured.
Then, the slaves take her in as part of their family and *sniff….sob….* and then she’s not a slave any longer and OH....it’s just SO tragic!
*Sob, sniff…*
Rajeesh is wide-eyed with terror.  SHOULD I CALL 9-1-1? his face seems to say. 
Rajeesh: Uh.
Kristen: I KNOW. It’s...just…so…amazing.
And Scene.

It may have been the jet lag or the fact that I just left my baby for the first time ever but I’m going to chalk up the dramatics to what a FANTASTIC book The Kitchen House is. 
I have fallen in love with Kathleen Grissom’s novel.  A must read if you liked The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  If not, go read The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  
The Kitchen House details the lives of slaves on a Virginia plantation.  There are two narrators – one a white orphaned girl named Lavinia who is an indentured servant to the plantation owner and a black slave on the same plantation, named Belle.  Lavinia is considered a slave; she lives and works with the black slaves on the plantation.  The black slaves become her family and treat her as one of their own.  

The reader soon finds out, however, the advantages she will have based on the fact that she is white even though she is considered a slave.  The book details her life through adulthood – her return to the plantation she grew up on and the changes of the only family she ever knew.  The book has some very wild turns and just when you think you know a character something happens and you’re turned on your head. 
Being a history buff, I thought I intellectually understood the dynamic relationships during slavery but this book was so different than what I've encountered before. House slaves vs. field slaves, indentured servants vs. slaves, owners vs. slaves it was all very enlightening. 

It definitely brought me to tears several times, most notably in the trying-too-hard-to-be-cool bistro/diner on Waikiki. 
If you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!  And if you've ever traumatized any wait staff while reading!  


3 comments:

The Sexy Single Mommy said...

This book sounds pretty good. I am a new follower. I found you on Mommy Bloggers Club.
http://www.thesexysinglemommy.com

Lynn said...

I loved this book. I listened to it on Audible because that is the only way I can get a book read while doing 3 loads of laundry and mowing the yard. Multi tasking!

Kristen @ The Chronicles of Dutch said...

I highly recommend it Sexy Single Mommy!! Thanks for following!

Lynn, I'm definitely going to have to check out Audible!

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