I am pretty sure everyone at the table had read the book (or, at the very least, was deep into the middle of it) because we had a very animated and robust discussion. The story begins in 1791 when Lavinia, age 7, is orphaned while traveling from Ireland to America with her family. The captain of the ship takes her in as an indentured white servant to work and live on his tobacco plantation. She is placed in the kitchen to work with Belle, the captain’s illegitimate mixed race daughter. Lavinia and Belle take turns narrating the story, sharing their daily lives and how they navigate the hardships, racial tensions, and social order determined by their place on the plantation. It is not an easy life and the book does not try to hide anything. Gripping and emotional, it is a page turner!
Click below for a Preview of The Kitchen House: