Several years ago, I stumbled upon Kathleen Grissom’s debut novel The Kitchen House. I actually listened to the audiobook. And it was phenomenal. As in jumped into my Top 5 Books of All Time phenomenal. So when I heard her sophomore work was coming out this spring, I got REALLY excited. And then I had the opportunity to get an advanced reader’s copy through Net Galley.
Guys. This book.
Glory Over Everything is a stand-alone sequel to The Kitchen House. It follows the story of Jamie Pyke after he left Tall Oaks in Virginia. The story is his, though there are characters from The Kitchen House that make an appearance in addition to the new characters we meet from his life in Philadelphia. Glory is written in a similar style to Kitchen in that each chapter is written from the point of view and in the voice of one character. It is rare that an author can bring characters to life in the way that Grissom does.
What is even more amazing about her writing is how unbelievably human her characters are. In a way that stands in opposition to the period in which she writes in which humans were commodities. I’ve never had a better sense about slavery and the effects it had on people than after reading one of her books. I’ve also never felt more enraged at the injustices of slavery and the subsequent issues of civil rights in this country. Grissom’s writing is provocative in a way few others are.
My only complaint about this book is how abruptly some pieces of it end. For example (and without giving too much away), one character’s piece of the story comes to an end in one sentence–and I was left wanting more.
On the whole, this book is well worth the read–and, if you’re like me, you won’t want to put it down. It’s set to release on April 5. Run, don’t walk, to your bookseller and pre-order it. Right now. And if you’re in the Raleigh, NC area, Kathleen Grissom will be at Quail Ridge Books on April 28 at 7:00 PM.