Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom

How I Heard About It:  Long ago, historical fiction was not in my repertoire of self-selected reading material.  I remember someone recommending to me The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom.  I said I would give it a try and see what I thought.  It was a pleasant surprise and I ended up enjoying the story quite a bit.  So much in fact that I begin to tell other reader friends about it.  A few weeks ago I was picking out picture books from my local library for my classroom and begin to do some searching for a new audio book.  This title popped up and I put it on my checkout list.  The other day I finished listening and will share my thoughts here...

What It Is About:  This time the story takes place in 1830 and our main character is Jamie Pyke.  He has run from his "past" and is living a brand new life as a wealthy silversmith.  Jamie keeps the company of rich white folk and surrounds himself with the best of the best.  This is a long way from his childhood.  He is also keeping a major secret that he is holding deep within himself.  Jamie is the son of a black slave and her master.  After he takes on a new lover, who happens to be married, Jamie learns that his own "servant" Pan has been captured and is going to be sold into slavery.  This brings back many memories for Jamie, and he knows he must do something.  He owes Pan's father because that man helped Jamie escape from his own "hell".  Jamie embarks on a journey back south to rescue Pan even though he is afraid to face his past and the people from it.  

What I Thought Of It:  I read the actual text of The Kitchen House and this time I listened via CD during my commute to and from work.  I'm not sure if this made a difference, but there was a change in the experience.  I liked the overall story, but was not connected to it like I was with the first book.  Once Jamie began the journey the story picked up and I became more invested in the characters and their struggles.  It is always difficult to read about the lives of people that struggled during our countries' history, but one that is necessary.  The author did an excellent job of capturing the mood, feeling, and essence of this time period.  I must admit there were moments of the story when I had to sit in my car to listen to the story because it was a "critical" point in the plot.  

Who Should Read It:  Of course if you read The Kitchen House, then I recommend you continue the story with this second installment.  If you are a fan of historical fiction, I think you would enjoy the story.  The writing is strong, the characters are well developed, and there are quite a few twists and turns.  Happy reading...

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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