Audiobook. I read this book after I heard the author speak at the community college here. She was brought through the efforts of Linda, the adviser of PVCC's student book club. The book has two narrators; the first is Lavinia who we meet when she arrives at a Virginia plantation sometime in the 1780s as a 6-year-old indentured servant. She tells us the story from the vantage point of many years later of her arrival, her connection to the family in the kitchen house (the slaves), and her later connection with the slave owners in the big house. We also hear some of the story from the point of view of Belle, the daughter of the captain from the big house and a now-deceased slave. The story stretches over a number of years, and of course things do not go well for the folks in the kitchen house that Lavinia has come to love so dearly. It's so painful that occasional breaks are required.
This is the first novel by the author and her account of how it came to be is remarkable. She and her husband restored a tavern on a plantation in Virginia; she became intrigued by a map she saw with a spot called "Negro's Hill" and though she asked locals and did other research, she could not learn much that was definitive about it. She found that the story came through her as though told to her and she was the scribe. When she resisted some of the more painful turns the story takes, the characters would not "speak" to her. It was also necessary that she do research on the period and be knowledgeable about the artifacts and general history of the time for the story to come through. The author's knowledge and research are evident and the story is gripping.