Renee @It’sBookTalk began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of our old favorites as well as sharing books that we’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. I’ve wanted to join this meme for a long time and I thought it would be a great idea because it forces me to read books from the TBR and not only new releases. And, of course, I can also include some old favorites!
When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family. Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.
It’s not often that I read a book and I know it’s going to be a favorite even before I’ve finished it. That feeling of complete satisfaction when you realize you’re reading a novel that has completely won you over. I felt that way when reading The Kitchen House and I certainly blamed myself for not picking it up sooner.
From the moment I read the prologue, I was hooked. This is a profoundly sad story, so don’t expect it to make you feel good. It won’t. Still, I couldn’t help but love some of the characters and I wanted to help them and become their family, just like Lavinia became theirs.
The more books I read, the more I realize that I love this kind of historical saga novels which tell the story of one family spanning many years. If you fall in love with the characters, like I did, you want to follow their lives and watch them grow and fight, fall in love, change and evolve.
Something funny: I read a 1 star review of this book that basically said they despised it because “nothing good ever happens to the characters”. It actually made me laugh, because it’s so true. It’s tragedy after tragedy, so keep that in mind. Not that it made me dislike the book at all, but some of you might want to know it beforehand.
Oh, and there’s a sequel, so I immediately bought it!