Tag Archive | Kathleen Grissom

*Glory Over Everything* by Kathleen Grissom*5-Stars

Glory Over Everything

Glory Over Everything is the sequel to Kathleen Grissom’s debut novel, The Kitchen House; and it is every bit as riveting as her first book.

Glory Over Everything follows the story of Jamie Pyke, a secondary character in The Kitchen House. Jamie grew up as a privileged white boy until the truth of his parentage, came to light. His father, a cruel and abusive man, bound Jamie to the slaves, headed for the auction block. Jamie escaped, though, and ran for his life. Henry, a runaway slave himself, helped the confused and frightened, thirteen-year-old boy. He taught Jamie how to survive in the woods and eventually pushed the boy to establish himself in Philadelphia. Jamie became a silversmith apprentice and was later adopted by his employer and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Burton.

Twenty years after his escape, Jamie, now known as, James Burton, was a successful silversmith and artist. Henry, shows up in Jamie’s life once again, only, this time, to ask for help. Henry pleaded with Jamie to take on his son, Pan, as a servant. Pan is a lovable character who quickly became my favorite. My heart broke, though, when Pan wandered down to the docks because I knew what was about to happen to him.

The story really takes off when Henry approaches Jamie’s back door, asking for his help, only this time, it was to find his missing son. Jamie, petrified of traveling into the South, tried to wiggle his way out of being the person to look for Pan. He was sure that the old overseer, Rankin, was still after him. And, if he were to be recognized in the South, Jamie had no doubt that he would be tried for murder as a black man, and would hang.

Kathleen Grissom’s writing is intense, vivid, and captivating. I felt part of the story, following Jamie, his loyal servant Robert, Pan, and dear brave Sukey through their horrid trials. Kathleen Grissom has become one of my favorite authors. I can’t wait for her next book. I hope it follows Pan’s or Robert’s life. Highly recommended.

5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*The Kitchen House*by Kathleen Grissom*5-Stars

The kitchen house is a beautifully written, powerful and moving novel.

The Kitchen House

This emotional and heart-wrenching story is told from two viewpoints, Lavinia, an Irish indentured servant, and her adoptive mother, a black slave. The Kitchen House takes place in Virginia, on Tall Oaks Plantation, during the late1700s and early1800’s.

Lavinia was only seven-years-old when she was bought by Captain Pike. Her parents had died during the voyage to America from Ireland on one of his ships. Captain Pike placed the traumatized child in the care of his secret daughter, Belle, one of his Kitchen House black slaves. Lavinia quickly grew to love her new adopted family. It wasn’t until ten years later that she would realize what it truly meant to be owned, black, and working, in the fields of a rich man’s plantation.

Captain Pike, was not an evil slave master, but his overseer was. Captain Pike was rarely home, so he didn’t have a true picture of what was happening on his plantation. If he did, he would have stopped the inhuman treatment of his slaves by the overseer. And he certainly would have never allowed his son Marshall to be taken advantage of and abused by the tutor he hired. But Captain Pike wasn’t around, and these things did occur.

At age seventeen, Lavinia was freed from her indentured servanthood. She quickly married into the family and became the mistress of Tall Oaks Plantation. Her goal was to make a better life for the slaves. She had always treated them like family. Unfortunately, as a mistress, she was no longer permitted to treat black slaves as equals. Any kindnesses she showed towards them were swiftly met with a harsh beating from her husband. The slaves of Tall Oaks didn’t abandon Lavinia during this dark period of her life. They stood by her until she was no longer just a beaten down shell of a person.

The kitchen house is not for the faint-hearted. Each page is filled with raw emotion, as it portrays for the reader, a realistic view of slavery, in all of its hateful, brutal ugliness.

5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover