Glory over Everything: Beyond the Kitchen House (Unabridged)
by Kathleen Grissom
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The author of the New York Times best seller and beloved book club favorite The Kitchen House continues the story of Jamie Pyke, son of both a slave and master of Tall Oakes, whose deadly secret compels him to take a treacherous journey through the Underground Railroad. Published in 2010, The Kitchen House became a grassroots best seller. Fans connected so deeply to the book's characters that the author, Kathleen Grissom, found herself being asked over and over, "What happens next?" The wait is finally over. This new standalone novel opens in 1830, and Jamie, who fled from the Virginian plantation he once called home, is passing in Philadelphia society as a wealthy white silversmith. After many years of striving, Jamie has achieved acclaim and security, only to discover that his aristocratic lover, Caroline, is pregnant. Before he can reveal his real identity to her, he learns that his beloved servant, Pan, has been captured and sold into slavery in the South. Pan's father, to whom Jamie owes a great debt, pleads for Jamie's help, and Jamie agrees, knowing the journey will take him perilously close to Tall Oakes and the ruthless slave hunter who is still searching for him. Meanwhile Caroline's father learns and exposes Jamie's secret, and Jamie loses his home, his business, and finally Caroline. Heartbroken and with nothing to lose, Jamie embarks on a trip to a North Carolina plantation where Pan is being held with a former Tall Oakes slave named Sukey, who is intent on getting Pan to the Underground Railroad. Soon the three of them are running through the Great Dismal Swamp, the notoriously deadly hiding place for escaped slaves. Though they have help from those in the Underground Railroad, not all of them will make it out alive.
Glory over Everything
Excellent can’t put down. Kathleen Grissom is an excellent writer. This book follows her previous book Kitchen House which also was SUPERB. The narrators are exceptional. I listened to it and finished in one day. I will read this book again. I await her next book.
AudioBook Review: Overall: 5 Narration: 4 Story: 5 be prepared: the desire for freedom did not co
Overall: 5 Narration: 4 Story: 5
A tale that brought to me, the tension and heartfelt awe of the children in The King and I when The Small House of Uncle Thomas was performed. Predating the American Civil War by over a quarter-century, the story is one of contrasts: perception and reality, slavery and freedom, hope and despair, and done with a sense that brings everything into focus despite the oppositional elements.
James Burton is living a lie: a light skinned black man, thriving and succeeding as a silversmith in Philadelphia, far from the reality of his early life as the son of both a slave and a master. His journey to Burton from the young runaway slave Jamie Pike is a tale shared early in the story, giving dimension and background to listeners, providing a perspective of life viewed through his unique eyes. When his lover reveals her pregnancy, he must reveal his true identity but that revelation is waylaid when his beloved servant, Pan, is taken by bounty hunters and sold into slavery. A runaway slave himself, Burton knows that he is endangering himself by proximity to his former home, but a debt to Pan’s father must be paid.
Throughout the story, these revelations are brought forward as we meet several characters both free and enslaved that share hopes and dreams, and Burton’s secret comes ever closer to the surface. With the advent of Sukey and her determination to be free, and to see Pan returned to freedom, with her own hopes to find that glorious state. Moments on the Underground Railroad, hiding in swampland, ever vigilant and watchful, and new moments that test and try everyone’s mettle, the story is gripping and engrossing, and fully emotional.
Narration for this story was provided by Santino Fontana, Heather Alicia Simms, Madeleine Maby and Kyle Beltran. I’m not normally a fan of multiple narrators, but these four managed to present the story in a way that felt coherent, with conversations flowing naturally, reminiscences presented with a near lyrical storytelling flow, and never were moments over-played or overacted. You won’t go wrong with either the narrated or traditionally read version of this book- but be prepared: the desire for freedom did not come without its heartache or tears.
I received an AudioBook of the title from Simon and Schuster for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Loved this book!
I found this book to be as her previous one in that I couldn't put it down and was so sorry that it was over when it ended. Although this is a continuation of The Kitchen House, it is very much a stand alone book. I loved the characters, and really cared about them. I wasn't crazy about the reader of the "James" chapters in the beginning, I guess I got used to him because after a while he didn't bother me anymore. His tone, when speaking the parts of women, was whiney and mimicking in not a good way. Later, he got better at it, or I either got used to it or was so engrossed, that I didn't notice it.
Loved this story and I look forward to many more books from Kathleen Grissom.