Book Review

March '16

Glory Over Everything (Hardcover)
Kathleen Grissom

The Kitchen House was a surprise New York Times best seller in 2010.  It tells the story of a young Irish girl, Lavinia, whose parents died during their sea voyage to the United States. Taken in to the kitchen house of a large tobacco farm in Virginia, Lavinia works as a servant in the big house, until she is taken in by the mistress and treated like her daughter.  For all of us who wondered what happened when the book was over, here is the much awaited sequel.  It can be read in sequence, or as a stand-alone novel.

Philadelphia, 1830.  James Burton lives as a wealthy white silversmith. Born Jamie Pyke, he was adopted by the Burton family and treated as their son. No one in town (especially not the Burtons) knows that Jamie Pyke was born on a southern slave plantation, the child of a mixed race slave mother forcibly impregnated by the white master, and Jamie is passing as white. 

James reluctantly returns to the south to retrieve Pan, the young son of the black friend who brought Jamie to safety in the north. Pan had been training as staff in James's house, and during a forbidden trip to the docks, was abducted by slavers and taken south. Jamie's journey takes him perilously near the area where he had lived as a slave, and he fears for Pan's safety as well as his own.  

The author writes about their journey, and includes drama, intrigue and romance to give the saga more dimension.  I especially enjoyed the information about The Underground Railroad, and wish that were a bigger part of the book.  

Glory Over Everything will appeal to lovers of historical fiction, stories about The Underground Railroad, and readers who enjoyed The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.