About Cumberland

Cumberland County College prepared to welcome author Kathleen Grissom on Nov. 1

Thursday, October 12, 2017
With the start of fall semester classes, Cumberland County College’s “One Book-One College” 2017-18 reading campaign got into full swing as this year’s selection, “The Kitchen House” by Kathleen Grissom, became a topic of conversation in many classrooms.

Kathleen GrissomNow in its 14th year, Cumberland’s successful One Book-One College concept was designed to get the campus and the community to connect by discussing relevant themes covered in a single book. A recommended read for Cumberland County College students, each selection has also proven popular with the region’s book clubs.

One of the highlights of the One Book-One College program is an on-campus visit by the featured author. The public is invited to meet Kathleen Grissom during her presentation and book signing on Wednesday, Nov. 1, beginning at 7 p.m. in the banquet room of the Luciano Conference Center, 3322 College Drive.

Please note that due to a scheduling conflict, the original date of Ms. Grissom’s visit to campus was changed.

In her gripping New York Times bestseller, Grissom brings to life a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War, where a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate.

Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family.

In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master’s opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.

Through the unique eyes of Lavinia and Belle, Grissom’s debut novel unfolds in a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets and familial bonds.

For more information about the One Book-One College reading program at Cumberland County College, call 856-691-8600 ext. 1358.