Glory Over Everything : Beyond the Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
From the Publishers:
A novel of family and long-buried secrets along the treacherous Underground Railroad.
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.
Published in 2010, The Kitchen House became a grassroots bestseller. Fans connected so deeply to the book’s characters that the author, Kathleen Grissom, found herself being asked over and over “what happens next?” The wait is finally over.
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. Meanwhile, Caroline’s father learns and exposes Jamie’s secret, and Jamie loses his home, his business, and finally Caroline.
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. Soon the three of them are running through the Great Dismal Swamp, the notoriously deadly hiding place for escaped slaves. Though they have help from those in the Underground Railroad, not all of them will make it out alive.
First of all, The Kitchen House was one of my book club selections awhile back. I thought I had reviewed it, but when I looked back, I guess I never did. I loved The Kitchen House and it made me very thankful that I live in modern times because I do not think I’m strong enough to have lived back in the 1800’s. You definitely could read Glory Over Everything without having read The Kitchen House but you would miss a wonderful book so I say go back and read The Kitchen House first.
Glory Over Everything begins with Jamie (a character we met in The Kitchen House) all grown up and finding his way in his new world. There are flashbacks that help you find out what happened from the last time we met Jamie to where we find him now. It had been several months since I finished The Kitchen House so it took me awhile to remember where we left Jamie and what his circumstances were that had led him to that point.
Jamie has made himself a name in society but he has gotten himself in quite a pickle when he had a relationship with a married woman. While he’s dealing with all of this he finds that the young “slave” boy who stays with him as a favor to a friend has gone missing. While we are making our way through both of these story lines, we keep going into the past to learn how Jamie met this boy. The story is also told through several narrators. At times it is hard to keep the flashbacks straight from the present 1830’s and which narrator is talking but once you get the hang of it, it is very worth it.
Jamie ends up on quite the adventure trying to help people who he has come to love. Definitely pick this book up, but take time to go back and read The Kitchen House first.