Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Kitchen House

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom takes place in the early 1800s when slavery and large plantations were the way of life in the South. The main character is a young Irish girl who was orphaned and taken in by a wealthy plantation owner. He leaves her in the care of his house servants who raise her as they would their own children. She, although white in color, acts and works just as the other slave girls do. Not until she is older does she realize that there is segregation based on color and she is a little different, not fitting in with either one.

As she struggles with this, she also starts to see how mistreated her "family" is by the plantation manager.  When tragedy strikes the plantation owner and his family, things take an interesting turn and this little girl who has grown up as a slave is given opportunities of education and wealth she has not known before. She soon takes on the role of a grown white lady and actually marries the son of her owner. Now she is in charge of the slaves who raised her. As she tries to make changes and treat them with the respect she has always given them, she is rebuked by her husband and made a slave to him.

It really is an interesting story. I really enjoyed reading this different perspective of what that time was like. And having my eyes opened to the types of things slaves were put through. There was a lot of tragedy and heartache, but also scenes that made me smile and laugh to myself. It was a great book to have along on my trip to Minnesota.

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