June 20, 2013

Bloggers Help Book Become Bestseller ~ The Kitchen House

My youngest daughter belongs to a book club and recommended I read The Kitchen House, about an Irish indentured slave that is taken in by the slaves in the kitchen house, by Kathleen  Grissom. "Oh, mom you'll like it, it's kind of like The Help." So I sat down at my computer, logged on to our local library website, to reserve the book and found I was number eight on the waiting list. Several weeks later I was notified to pick up the book. That was on a Friday afternoon and by Sunday morning I had finished reading this historical novel.

Published in February of 2010 The Kitchen House, was Kathleen Grissom debut novel, so why in the summer of 2013 was there a waiting list for a book that's been around for a while.

Well, it appears that bloggers played a huge part in making this book reach the New York Times bestseller list.

The author, Kathleen  Grissom realized that the publishers weren't promoting her book, so she sent out copies of The Kitchen House to bloggers who had previously reviewed historical novels. The bloggers wrote positive reviews, book clubs started reading the book, and it became a New York bestseller.

Here is the book description from Amazon.

When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family.
Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin.
Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent, and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.

Each chapter of the book is written through the eyes of either Lavinia or Belle and gives the read a perspective from each of their worlds. 

This is not a fun filled summer read, but in my humble opinion a book worth reading. 


  1. Thanks, Paulette. I needed a book recommendation. And yes, I am ready to read an entire book. Haven't done that since March!

  2. Did you like it as much as the Help?

    1. The Kitchen House is about slavery in the late 1700's while The Help is written during the time when there was segregation. Both books depict the dreadful behaviors of owners/employers, but The Kitchen House has some difficult to read situations throughout this historical novel while The Help also reviled awful working conditions and treatment it was not as heart wrenching as The Kitchen House.

      I was glad I read both of these books, and enjoyed them both, but to say I like one better than the other is like comparing apples to oranges.

  3. I read this one - I found it hard to get through but I did!! Not one of my favourites!

    1. While I enjoyed the book, I wasn't a big fan of having the story told through the eyes of Lavinia and Belle in every other chapter. I am glad I read the book and it kept my interest, on my top ten list, no.
      Was it the content or the writing style that made it difficult for you to finish?

      Was it the content or the writing stye that made the book hare to get through?

  4. Sounds like it could be an interesting read Paulette.

  5. It sounds like a very interesting read Paulette, thanks for reviewing it!

  6. Paulette, just had to come over from your comment on Cranberry Morning and say Hi! Your "I often walk around my yard and only see the weeding that needs to be done rather than the beauty of the flowers" is sooooo ME!

    That book sounds great. Next on my list, and I wouldn't have known about it with your post!

  7. Thanks for the recommendation, Paulette. Going to search our library site right now. Fingers crossed that we have it.

  8. Sounds wonderful! Thanks for the recommendation!