Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom

Glory Over Everything: Beyond The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Historical, Action/Adventure, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (384 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Jamie Pyke, son of both a slave and master of Tall Oakes, has a deadly secret that 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.

This book felt like a gift to me. I was so eager to see what happened after The Kitchen House and excited that the characters from The Kitchen House characters had a connection to the characters in this book. I was not disappointed. In fact, this book was so many things. Entertaining, realistic, had a brilliant use of language, vivid characters, numerous sudden and unexpected plot twist and was definitely a book that was hard to put down.

James Burton’s life is told in a story that is gripping and engaging from the first page. The fast moving narrative is superbly written. Ms. Grissom is truly a talented storyteller. The plot is well planned out. In the beginning while the foundation of the story was being laid out it did get a little confusing on the time line of events, but the author easily smoothed it over by keeping the plot and storyline moving.

Jamie Pyke and Henry find themselves both together under circumstances that cause them both to be in hiding. From this relationship forms a lasting bond that carried these two men into years later that shows sometimes favors may need to be returned. Pan, the young son of Henry, is left with James Burton because Henry can’t bring his son to his job. Pan is taught to read and write, speak proper English and how a man should dress. Feeling grateful to Mr. Burton’s kindness, Pan sets out on a mission to get a gift for Mr. Burton, but in doing so he disobeys his father and heads towards the shipyard. Pan gets kidnapped and sold into slavery. Then James Burton finds himself running from secrets that have been uncovered and with a promise to find Pan James uses this time to leave Philadelphia.

I can’t summarize all that happened, I can only say this is a story that is well worth reading. The character’s lives and details are so real. The story is a mixture of heartbreak with smiles of joy and love. The story was so real I was there with the characters and the story was painted with such a visual skill a reader can see the story unfolding. The anticipation of how James would be able to live after he has been exposed was amazing. And the even deeper suspense as to how Pan would be rescued and would lives be lost during their escape kept me enthralled.

This story is wonderful all around. Glory Over Everything lives up to its title by the payoff at the novel’s end. The plot, character, the writing were incredible. I am not sure if I had tears of happiness for Jamie’s ending or sadness because the story was ending. I see another story happening on the life of Adelaide. Her spirit is so bright I can’t see the author not letting it shine.

In addition to The Kitchen House being on the list of my favorite books, I’ll be adding the sequel to that list as well. Highly recommended to readers who enjoy a superb written storyline that’s guaranteed to keep your attention.

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