Jan 20, 2015

Teacher Tuesday: The Kitchen House

In my plan to blog everyday, I thought I would sometimes do "Teacher Tuesday" and these posts will be "about the teacher" and more of a personal post instead of about the classroom. 

This summer, for the first time in years, I decided I was going to read a bunch of books that I kept seeing people posting about. Not to say I hadn't read in years, but I hadn't made such an extensive list to read over the summer in years! Well, instead of using my Kindle that I have been obsessed with, I just really felt the need to have REAL books! Loved it! I had at one point given away all of my book-books and just used my Kindle. Now I have this nice stack of books in my bedroom again. There is just something about a REAL BOOK! :)

One of my favorite books that I read this summer was The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. I saw the title posted by a few other teachers on Instagram and talk that it was really good. I ordered it on Amazon that day that I had heard about it. I have to admit that I don't usually, or ever, read historical books. But, I LOVED this book!

In the beginning, I felt a little confused because there were a ton of characters and I felt like I couldn't keep them all straight. I worried this might not be the right kind of read that I wanted for the summer. I worried it might be too complicated and I would need to think too much. We all know that feeling, right? I'm glad I kept reading! It will now be one of my all-time favorite books. I couldn't put it down and at the end of the book, I just wanted it to keep going!

Since I finished it, I have passed it on to Abbie at Tales From the First Grade, to my mother-in-law, and to my mom! Another reason that I'm glad I bought this in the REAL BOOK version. Everyone has loved it so far!

Here is the quick synopsis as listed on Amazon. It's written much better than I could try to explain! 

In this gripping New York Times bestseller, Kathleen Grissom brings to life a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War, where a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate.

Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family.

In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master’s opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.

Through the unique eyes of Lavinia and Belle, Grissom’s debut novel unfolds in a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets, and familial bonds. 

Has anyone else read this book? If so, do you have any other good suggestions for books that I might like? I'm not sure when I will have time until the summer...but, it's always nice to keep a list!! I hope you enjoyed a short break in the week from school-related posts and you take some time for yourself to read and relax! Happy Teacher Tuesday!

If you want your own copy of The Kitchen House, click below to check it out on Amazon!

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