I have to admit, I am still not used to being in a book club yet. I am 2 for 3 for books that I have not finished before we met to discuss. I am struggling. There is something to be said about reading books at your own pace instead of having a deadline. However, I love being a part of a book club so I am going to keep trying.
For December’s book club we read The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom. We also decided to do a cookie exchange this month since we were approaching the holidays at a very rapid pace. Since I was not done with the book, but I was really enjoying it, I was hesitant about going to book club. I didn’t want the end to be discussed and blow it for me. However, my friend Kali was hosting, she lives the closest to me, and I had just spent the day before making a massive amount of cookies.
So, I frantically read as much as I could after work, was still over 150 pages from the end, but decided to suck it up and go. There had been a snow storm the day before so the roads weren’t great, but I was taking it slow. Half way there I realized my cookies were still sitting on my kitchen counter. Cripes. I had to decide…keep going on the slippery roads even though I am not done with the book, AND I forgot my cookies? I decided to throw in the towel and turn around.
Although I was disappointed I didn’t attend book club, especially after I found out wine and schnapps were served, I really enjoyed getting to the end of the book without any spoilers.
So, what did I think?
Every time someone has mentioned the book to me they have compared it to The Help, a book that takes place during the civil rights movement and chronicles life as an African-American woman working for a white family. The Kitchen House, however, takes place in the late 1700s during slavery. A young, Irish girl who is an orphan ends up living on a tobacco plantation with the slaves. Her world becomes complicated as she enters the white people’s world, but she wants to remain with her “family” and doesn’t fully understand why the color of her skin prevents her from doing so.
As you can imagine the book definitely had some dark aspects to it. Slavery in general is a dark part of America’s history, and I am not particularly fond of “dark” literature, but that is life, and you can’t avoid that. The book was well written and continually kept me engaged and connected to the characters. If you are looking for a book to read, I would definitely recommend it. Especially since it does challenge you to think about our nation’s history (although it is a work of fiction) and humanity in general.
Next up…Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn! And I am happy to report I am already done with it!!! Yay! I won’t be doing a book review on it until after I meet with the book club in January. I would like to be able to include some of the clubs thoughts as well.
Let me know if you have or end up reading The Kitchen House. I’d love to hear what you thought about it.