Title: Glory Over Everything
Author: Kathleen Grissom
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewers: Dottie & Jennifer
A novel of family and long-buried secrets along the treacherous Underground Railroad.
Glory Over Everything is considered a stand-alone but is the follow up to Grissom’s The Kitchen House. You can certainly read this book without reading The Kitchen House first but it will add something to your reading of this story to hear how Jamie’s story begun. This novel is the gripping continuation of Jamie’s story.
This 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. In the years since leaving Virginia, 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 his former home 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.
Dottie’s thoughts ~
Having loved The Kitchen House, I was quite pleased to find out that Kathleen Grissom is giving us another chance to go back to our darkest period of history. Along the way we read of the true horrors of slavery through Jamie’s and other character’s encounters. Through these horrors, we see Jamie grow into a more empathetic man.
I am so glad to have read this compelling and important book. It’s always a plus when you can tell that the author took her research seriously. Ms. Grissom writes so vividly, that I was able to picture each character and hear their voices. I was able to feel the despair and also joy the many characters felt along the way. I’m hoping that we are treated to more of these characters in the future.
Jennifer’s thoughts ~
I enjoyed reading how Jamie came to live in Philadelphia with the Burton’s and seeing their relationship develop. Enter Caroline. Jamie fights his feelings for this woman because of his past but soon Caroline is pregnant. I enjoyed Jamie’s and Caroline’s story. It was heartbreaking and believable. Grissom captured the emotions perfectly. I LOVED Pan and the relationship he forms with Jamie. Their bond filled my heart with love and broke it at the same time. It was nice to see Sukey, a former slave from Jamie’s old home, again. She plays a part in helping Jamie get Pan back to Philadelphia. Her story is heartbreaking but opened this reader’s eyes to what slaves endured during that time. Grissom does a fantastic job of describing the time.
There is a lot happening in this book but the author does a great job of connecting each part of the story. None of the aspects of the story are rushed and the book ends with a satisfying conclusion. However, I can also see the opening for a third book. I’d love to see a third book and get a look at what is happening with Jamie and Pan several years later.
Dottie and Jennifer both received an ARC courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for their honest reviews.
Glory Over Everything hit bookshelves everywhere, April 5, 2016! Go get your copy! It will be time well spent.