Glory Over Everything: Beyond The Kitchen House by Katheen Grissom – 370 pages
This new, stand-alone 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. 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.Though they have help from those in the Underground Railroad, not all of them will make it out alive.
My Review: 4 stars
Glory Over Everything is the stand-alone and/or sequel to The Kitchen House, both wonderful historical-fiction sagas during the 1830s American South. I thank this author for taking her time between the first book and its sequel. She dedicated the time necessary to create another heart wrenching story about the ravages of slavery.
Much of this book is centered on a character we met in The Kitchen House and now his story as an adult is fully developed, while both old and new characters surround him. Many of the characters in this book are half-caste, meaning they are white with black blood in them or vice versa. The reader will fall into their stories with ease.
There is so much savagery in this time period but there is also so much bravery. Those who risked their lives to help the slaves and be part of the Underground Railroad were heroic. It’s not unlike the Righteous Christians who helped Jews during the Holocaust. There was an equal balance of the good versus evil in this book.
The new characters that were introduced included a young boy, Pan, who just stole my heart. His inquisitiveness was endearing and his plight frightening. I loved the stubborn and smart Miss Adelaide whose continual commentary offered a bit of comic relief. I do hope Kathleen Grissom revisits this new cast of characters and brings us a third book to this series.
I can assure you, once you start this book, you’re certain to be sucked in.
Quotes I liked:
Where, then, did I belong? Was my birth an accident of fate, or was my life intended to have some purpose?”
-“I know about the God in the old preacher’s Bible, but I’m thinking maybe He only looks out for white folks.”
-“I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person now I was free. There was such a glory over everything. The sun came up like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven.” -Harriet Tubman