• Hardcover: 384 pages
• Publisher: Simon & Schuster
• Publication Date: April 5, 2016
The author of the New York Times bestseller 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.
"Grissom’s lyrical storytelling is rich with period details, and the novel can be read as either a memorable standalone or a captivating sequel to The Kitchen House."— Publishers Weekly
Cove Review of—
GLORY OVER EVERYTHING by Kathleen Grissom
Kathleen Grissom's sophomore novel, a spin off of her debut, THE KITCHEN HOUSE, opens with silversmith Jamie Pyke in 1830s Philadelphia.
Now "passing" and living as a white man named James Burton, the first half of GLORY OVER EVERYTHING is dedicated to Jamie's travails following his near-deadly fleeing of the South at just thirteen years old.
We also meet and follow a host of new characters, including Jamie's love interest, Caroline—a woman who fills his adult life with complication; the Burtons—a loving couple who gives Jamie much more than just a new name; and Henry and Pan—a father/son duo that puts Jamie's deepest loyalties to the test.
The story also features the sad life and times of Sukey, a slave sold from Jamie's intricate past in the previous novel, who happens to be in the right place at the right time to enable a dramatic and tricky reunion in this one.
While the idea of following Jamie as he "passes" is a marvelous one, some readers may find the intrigue somewhat diluted by an ill-timed flashback. Once the narrative stops and flashes back to thirteen-year-old Jamie and his elevation in Philadelphia society, the reader already has so much information about his future that tension and conflict are essentially neutralized. As a result, the first half of the story may feel somewhat tedious and poorly paced where it could've been engaging and suspenseful if the reader knew far less about how things turn out for Jamie by 1830. The plot also relies quite heavily on coincidence to heighten its tension, which delicately undermines the plausibility of things to come.
Despite these observations, fans of THE KITCHEN HOUSE should definitely experience GLORY OVER EVERYTHING for its wonderfully researched historical ambiance, the notable insight to the grossly inhuman slave trade, the ravages of plantation life, the courage of the Underground Railroad and the sheer endurance of the human spirit!
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Kathleen Grissom is now happily rooted in south-side Virginia, where she and her husband live in the plantation tavern they renovated. In addition to The Kitchen House, she is also the author of Glory over Everything.
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