Customer Reviews for

The Kitchen House: A Novel

Average Rating 4.5
( 1040 )
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(606)

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(105)

2 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

46 out of 54 people found this review helpful.

An incredible story with characters you will love and never forget.

I purchased this book Friday night on my way home from work. I am usually a chapter a night reader; I started The Kitchen House Friday at midnight and read till 4:30am:
I was awake at 8:30 and finish it.

Grissom's writing creates such a colorful picture that you f...
I purchased this book Friday night on my way home from work. I am usually a chapter a night reader; I started The Kitchen House Friday at midnight and read till 4:30am:
I was awake at 8:30 and finish it.

Grissom's writing creates such a colorful picture that you find yourself transported back in time. The characters are not just on the page, but are with you in such a way that you experience what they are experiencing. This is not a book that you merely read and put down, it stays with you. Papa George, Mama May, Belle and the host of other inhabitants of Tall Oaks pull you into their world and keep you hooked till the end.

Though I normally don't read historical fiction I was brought in by it's haunting cover and after reading the prologue I couldn't put it down. I LOVED this book!

posted by readtillyoudrop on February 21, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

For the first 150 pages you will not want to put it down....

it's the kind of novel that is written with such great care to detail that you feel you are at the plantation Tall Oaks and you know the characters personally. You can't wait to see what happens next, then...the title character, Lavinia, gets older. She becomes irritati...
it's the kind of novel that is written with such great care to detail that you feel you are at the plantation Tall Oaks and you know the characters personally. You can't wait to see what happens next, then...the title character, Lavinia, gets older. She becomes irritating with her "I just can't believe I didn't realize..." half-wit response to things happening right in front of her. Everyone else realizes it, but not poor, weak-minded Lavinia. But when that little bulb DOES go off and she just can't seem to be able to handle the truth of the situations, she has to retire to her bedroom, self-medicating with morphine & you are left wanting to scream "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!? YOU & YOUR SCUMBAG HUSBAND OWN HUMAN BEINGS THAT HE BRUTALIZES, MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY, ON A DAILY BASIS & YOU FEEL THE NEED TO RETREAT!!?" One of the slaves put it best when she complained to another slave & more or less said that she couldn't believe that a FREE white woman was carrying on so much when she had so much to be glad about while the slave being brutally raped by the husband AND giving birth to his children still managed to see the beauty in life. I'm on page 260 of 360 & had to stop reading to write this I am getting so irritatingly PISSED!! The Author has about 100 more pages to turn Lavinia into something more than a weak, spineless, idiot of a young woman that stands around wringing her hands, crying (literally...A LOT!!!) about HER miserable circumstances whilst being served dinner by a slave girl with a black & blue face from the previous night's boxing match with the husband. I don't have high hopes here. Pathetic.

posted by hayleyleann on July 10, 2014

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Entirely too Maudlin

    This novel could have been quite captivating and absorbing if it weren't maudlin. And the writing style seemed a bit amateurish. All in all, a disappointment.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    Average easy read

    The first half of the book was going in the right direction but there were signs of poor story telling skills. The famous she said, he said and the other one said left me shaking my head. Somewhere in the middle the writting was leaving possible epic to cheap novel romance. The ending chapters felt rushed as if it was a different writer. This could have been so much better.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2012

    Not great

    The story line & characters were both weak. I would have rather spent my money on a better book. Not worth the money.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2011

    Too Grim

    Whereas the (approximate) first half of this book dwells on the redeeming virtues of love, support, encouragement, loyalty (you've got the idea), with a "little" pedophilia mixed in, the second devolves into alcoholism, rape, physical and emotional abuse, cruelty. While likely historically accurate, this did not make for enjoyable reading. As someone related to me, "There's enough of that in the world without having to read about it." Prospective readers: It depends on what you want.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Just ok Nothing great.

    Yes I would read other books by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2013

    Ok

    Average. After reading the review thought i would love.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    Well written, but...

    Let me begin by saying I'm not into historical fiction, and I prefer books that are uplifting. I'm reading The Kitchen House for a book group. I have to force myself to read 12 pages a day in order to finish it in time. If it weren't for the group, I would never have gotten as far as I have (still have 100 pages to go). The book is well written and is a bestseller, so it obviously appeals to many people. What's stopping me is the meanness that attacks me with each turn of the page. It isn't just that the book is about slavery in the U.S. during the pre-civil war era. Even without the slavery, there are victims, and there are victimizers. While I care about some of the victims, the general tone of meanness and sadism is not something I can enjoy or recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Althought the book started out promising, I soon realized that i

    Althought the book started out promising, I soon realized that it was nothing more than a romance novel dressed up as historical fiction. The characters are flat and the plot is uninspired and predictable. I was very disappointed. I will not recommend this book to my book group.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    A real downer....

    I have mixed feelings about this story.....while it was extremely depressing with continuous tragedies throughout the book, I also had the desire to see what happens next.

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