I jumped at the chance to read an advance copy of this book because of how much I loved The Kitchen House I was so anxious to get this book that I requested it from two sources just to increase my odds of getting it I was fortunate enough to receive a digital copy from both and I thank NetGalley and Edelweiss as well as the publisher, Simon Schuster and Kathleen Grissom This is the story of James Burton, or Jamie Pyke as we knew him as a child in the first book James was raised as white by a woman he believed to be his grandmother but is the son of a slave woman Belle , raped by her master There are multiple narrators of this story beginning with James and in his sections we learn how he came to be James Burton While a lot of the book is devoted to his story , this is also the story in the larger sense of the most shameful time in our history It it through memorable characters who in my view are the real heroes that we get a sense of this horrific time Henry , a runaway slave , a loving father and good man Sukey , beautiful Sukey, also a character from the first book , whose story will break your heart and leave you wondering how with such a burden of sorrow she can move forward with strength and heart and do what she does for others Pan, Henry s son, a precocious boy always questioning but somehow knowing what is the right thing to do and the brave people along the Underground Railroad these are the heroes It s easy to love , dislike or even hate most of the characters in this book That is not the case with James I had mixed feelings throughout about James Perhaps it s indicative of his complex history and the terrible reality of slavery of which he is a product and in many ways did not have choices early on in his life It just took much too long for my liking for James to understand what the right thing was I may have given it 5 stars if in the end James made the right choices before certain circumstances changed that made it easier for him to do so This can be read as a stand alone but I recommend reading both. I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person now I was free There was such a glory over everything The sun came up like gold through the trees, and I felt like I was in heaven Harriet TubmanThis beautiful quote introduces the sequel to The Kitchen House Glory Over Everything is an apt title as this book is ultimately about freedom from slavery and freedom from its stigma It is narrated with smoothly rotating chapters between James, Caroline, Pan, and Sukey.James mother is a mulatto and his father was white When he fled the south for Philadelphia he was only 13 years old and scared Henry, an escaped slave, saved his life and set him on his way to live a white man s life where his fortunes took a very positive turn He meets Caroline, the daughter of influential Philadelphians, and falls deeply in love However, their romance is doomed She is already married, and he has secrets to hide.Pan, Henry s 12 year old son, is abducted by slave traffickers and put on a ship destined for the Deep South Henry pleads for James help in recovering him and James goes, partly to recover from a bad situation and partly because he knows that he owes Henry a huge debt for saving his life when he was young.From here, the story becomes darker and so filled with frightening and horrific events that I could hardly read fast enough My heart was literally pounding in places, and felt like it was breaking to pieces in other places There are times when all hope of escaping their predicaments seemed impossible, and there are times when the unlikeliest of souls turned out to be angels of assistance in disguise.These two books, The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything, are truly important books They tell stories that are both familiar and new stories that are heartbreaking and uplifting They tell stories of taking strides toward freedom and the cost for some as well as the triumph for othersI looked at my hands to see if I was the same person now I was free There was such a glory over everything The sun came up like gold through the trees, and I felt like I was in heaven Harriet TubmanThe same as the opening quote, yet with lifetimes in meaning. I have always had a soft spot when it comes to slavery stories They scream with emotion, of inhumanity, of savagery Yet, they can also embrace with compassion and love And although I detest they happened, I m always compelled to read them and think there is a sliver of truth in all In this narrative, a missing negro boy sends Burton, a black man so fair skinned he has been living the life of a white man, on a search back to the southern states where his freedom is threatened from a past he left behind But return he must, to try and track down the boy who has suspiciously disappeared and is suspected of being enslaved.The stories cross over We meet several slaves and whites along this journey We learn of Burton and how he denied his own ancestry in order to survive in the white Man s world and the truths that threaten to emerge We learn of forgiveness and acceptance.The words fly off the page and I was transported back to 1830 Grissom has captured my heart with these characters who have escaped slavery, empowered themselves with education and cherish their freedom above everything A truly moving 4.5 Where, then, did I belong Was my birth an accident of fate, or was my life intended to have some purpose Jamie Pyke, fair skinned son of a slave named Belle and a cruel master named Marshall, ran from his Virginian plantation home, his heritage and his fate at the age of thirteen James Burton, wealthy Philadelphia businessman and heir to the silversmith shop and fortune of his kindly adoptive parents, has spent his teen years and adulthood hiding his former identity When James falls for a beautiful white woman of high social standing, his secret is threatened The disappearance of his devoted servant, Pan, presents a moral dilemma to James Pan s father, Henry, who once rescued James in his time of need, begs James to search for his son whom he believes has been abducted and sold into slavery in the south But can James risk returning to a region where his identity could be revealed and his life placed at risk Glory Over Everything, sequel to The Kitchen House, is a gripping and well crafted novel that kept me turning the pages despite frequent vacation distractions Multiple, alternating first person narratives are employed throughout the book I liked this technique as it allowed me to learn a great deal about the innermost thoughts of those characters that perhaps, due to their circumstances, would otherwise be less illuminated James is a very conflicted individual and at times could be unlikable Even with the knowledge that Belle s blood flowed through his veins, he could not reconcile himself to the fact that he was anything other than a white man At the same time, it was not completely lost on him that those who were there for him in his times of greatest need were in fact black men and women of tremendous principles and trustworthy character Men and women like Henry, Robert, Sukey, and the people of the Underground Railroad will capture your heart and give you faith in humanity despite the fact that men like the ruthless slave tracker Rankin and despicable slave owner Bill Thomas exist The fearless and independent minded Miss Adelaide quickly became a favorite new character I would love to see of her I would be thrilled if Ms Grissom decided to expand upon her in another installment Pan is another for whom I felt a soft spot, not unlike that which James perhaps perceived in his heart as well I would be interested to learn how the relationship continues to change between Pan and James Pan, who looked up to James as a sort of heroic figure, sees James falter and therefore betray the image he once had of him Can James make amends and come to terms with his own identity I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction and anyone that appreciates stories of human triumph There is a great deal of tension and a bit of nail biting as the plot reaches a climax The characters, however, are what truly crown this novel, in my opinion There are some coincidences that seemed slightly unlikely, and I found the ending to be a little rushed and perhaps a tad bit too tidy, causing me to deduct one star from my review While this is a stand alone novel, I recommend that you read The Kitchen House first, in order to gain a better perspective on the background of some of the characters I look forward to reading whatever Kathleen Grissom has in store for us nextWe all carry burdens from our past, but it is not for others to exploit them I truly enjoyed The Kitchen House and was thrilled to have the opportunity to read this book Dare I say I this is a case where the sequel is better than the original Told through the perspectives of several narrators, Grissom tells the story of a family woven together and torn apart by the horrors of slavery in 1830 s America As in Grissom s earlier work, it s a plot driven novel with many compelling and interconnected story lines Though the book borders on melodrama, it is engaging, and I personally found it to be moving than The Underground Railroad Glory s characters are memorable even the loathsome ones The female leads are particular firecrackers While providing a tidy enough ending for this book, Grissom has also left the door wide open for a third installment in the series This fan is hoping the books keep on coming.Thank you to NetGalley and Simon Schuster for a galley of the book in exchange for an honest review While I was provided a galley I listened to the audio version. I really enjoyed this but not as much as The Kitchen House I adored Pan and would love to see a follow up to his story down the road This can be read as a stand alone novel but recommend reading, or even, rereading The Kitchen House first 4 stars. I m on a role with my ratings recently and this one is no different I started reading it on my trip to CA, but couldn t get into it Started it again once I was back and I couldn t put it down Glory picks up after The Kitchen House and follows Jamie Pyke as he navigates life after escaping Rankin, Master Marshall, and the plantation he lived on Jamie lives as a white man, painting for a living, and enjoying the perks of a socialite in Philadelphia It all changes when his secret parentage is revealed and the race begins I loved this one so much than The Kitchen House how is that even possible The story was elaborate and detailed I enjoyed meeting all of the new characters and found myself rooting for them to overcome their obstacles The final third, I couldn t turn the pages fast enough to find out how Grissom would end this one Would they make it Who would survive this haunting tale of slavery and freedom How would it end I was satisfied with the ending and hope that Grissom continues with telling us Addy s story next. Thank you to NetGalley and Simon Schuster for an egalley I chose to listen to a finished audio copy.Jamie Pike from The Kitchen House is now James Burton, wealthy silversmith and artist of Philadelphia I think I liked this than the original, even though I ve given them both 4 stars There are some wonderful characters that we get to know, and James, although very well formed and sympathetic, was probably my least favorite, when compared to the truly great and not as well formed Robert, Pan, Addy, and Sukie I greatly appreciated the ease in following the chapters each told us what year it was and whose point of view was up Gradually I was completely absorbed and taken by the story, which had some sad moments and heartbreak, some close calls, death as well as new life, and with the Underground Railroad perhaps some hope for the future.I think the author could very well continue the story even , but it sounds like that s not in the cards, which is sadly our loss. The Latest New York Times Bestseller From The Author Of The Beloved Book Club Favorite The Kitchen House Is A Heart Racing Story About A Man S Treacherous Journey Through The Twists And Turns Of The Underground Railroad On A Mission To Save The Boy He Swore To Protect Glory Over Everything Is Gripping Breathless Until The End Kirkus ReviewsThe Year Is And Jamie Pyke, A Celebrated Silversmith And Notorious Ladies Man, Is Keeping A Deadly Secret Passing As A Wealthy White Aristocrat In Philadelphian Society, Jamie Is Now Living A Life He Could Never Have Imagined Years Before When He Was A Runaway Slave, Son Of A Southern Black Slave And Her Master But Jamie S Carefully Constructed World Is Threatened When He Discovers That His Married Socialite Lover, Caroline, Is Pregnant And His Beloved Servant Pan, To Whose Father Jamie Owes His Own Freedom, Has Been Captured And Sold Into Slavery In The South Fleeing The Consequences Of His Deceptions, Jamie Embarks On A Trip To A North Carolina Plantation To Save Pan From The Life He Himself Barely Escaped As A Boy With The Help Of A Fearless Slave, Sukey, Who Has Taken The Terrified Young Boy Under Her Wing, Jamie Navigates Their Way, Racing Against Time And Their Ruthless Pursuers Through The Virginia Backwoods, The Underground Railroad, And The Treacherous Great Dismal Swamp Kathleen Grissom Is A First Rate Storyteller She Observes With An Unwavering But Kind Eye, And She Bestows Upon The Reader, Amid Terrible Secrets And Sin, A Gift Of Mercy The Belief That Hope Can Triumph Over Hell Richmond Times Dispatch Glory Over Everything Is An Emotionally Rewarding And Epic Novel Filled With Romance, Villains, Violence, Courage, Compassion And Suspense Florida Courier Even though this book is not due out until next April I just had to read it as soon as I was approved I was granted an ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I am a huge fan of Kathleen Grissom I loved The Kitchen House and purchased it for several members of my family I was absolutely thrilled that she wrote this follow up.I was not disappointed The story picks up many years after the The Kitchen House and we follow the life of Jaime Pyke who has moved to Philadelphia He has been passing as white and is a well established silver smith who eventually owns his own shop and home He was fortunate enough to have a silversmith who took him in and trained him in the art I was glad that the author provided back story to Jaime s life as it has been quite some time since I read The Kitchen House When he is approached by Henry, a free black who helped him rise and become successful, to help him find and return his son Pan, he shows his integrity and gratitude by agreeing to search for Pan The story does go back and forth in time and is told in different points of view, and since I wasn t able to finish it in one or two sittings, I did find myself having to go back and read pages again but that was just my situation at the time.It was almost painful for me to revisit the plantation with the characters of Master Marshall and the horrid Rankin who terribly mistreated the slaves even to the point of whipping some to death But we also are reminded of Miss Lavinia who was so kind and even taught Jaime to read and write The atmosphere and settings are very well described as are all of the characters.The later flight to freedom was the most intense part of the book for me The book kept reminding of the issues still concerning racism in our country.You do not have to have read The Kitchen House to enjoy this book The author provides a lot of background to all of the characters But I do encourage you to read the first book, it is a wonderful work of historical fiction.
Born Kathleen Doepker, I was privileged as a child to be raised in Annaheim, Saskatchewan, a hamlet on the plains of Canada Although we lived in a small, tightly knit Roman Catholic community, I was fortunate to have parents who were open to other religions and cultures Since television was not a luxury our household could afford, books were the windows that expanded my world Soon after Sister
- 365 pages
- Glory over Everything: Beyond The Kitchen House
- Kathleen Grissom
- 09 November 2019 Kathleen Grissom