The Kitchen House

A Five Star Pick

The Kitchen HouseI cannot talk enough about this book—I am ecstatic!  When I told everyone to read The Help by Kathryn Stockett, I was in turn told to read this one.  I was not even halfway through when I claimed that I LOVED the novel and my opinion did not change when I reached the final page.  I was so sad that it had come to an end.  The story takes place during the late 1700’s to early 1800’s, set in Southern Virginia at a place called Tall Oaks, where there is a tobacco plantation.  Slavery is still in force and we are introduced to Lavinia, a young orphan girl of 7, who has just come off the boat from Ireland and taken in by Captain James Pyke (the master of the tobacco farm, living at Tall Oaks).  Since she is found weak and sick, Lavinia is welcomed in the Kitchen House, where the cooks prepare all meals for the Big House.  It is there that she is brought up with folks who do not have the same skin color as her but who love her as their own.  Lavinia doesn’t see how she can be different from those surrounding her in the Kitchen House but as she grows older, she is forced to choose her loyalties despite her feelings.  There is a lot of sadness and tragedy in this book—such as in episodes of Little House on the Prairie (if you ever loved watching that!) but it is a story that you just want to keep going.  At times I was so angered by Lavinia’s stubbornness and naivete but seeing how the novel takes place in a certain period, we can expect her to be none the wiser.  A huge message in the book has to do with miscommunication or none at all—where characters assume their own thoughts without confirming the truth.  It is in this way that many people in the story suffer or struggle unnecessarily.  No matter the human errors, there are so many moments that stay with you long after the last chapter is read.  If you are looking for an amazing read, this would be it.  The novel has a book trailer, which you can view here.  I would love to see this made into a movie!  I could see Oprah playing Mama Mae’s part 🙂

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