I love to read just about anything, as long as it's fiction. I read for me - that means I read what I want, when I want. My reviews tend to mostly be based on how I'm able to personally connect with the story/characters. They are not intended to influence someone to read, or not read, a particular book. I always encourage people to take a chance and make up your own mind.
Oh, and I love chocolate.
I absolutely loved The Kitchen House, so I was very excited to read the sequel, Glory Over Everything. However, at the same time, I was a bit nervous because sequels don't always live up to my expectations. Especially when I loved the first book.
Well, I loved Glory Over Everything almost as much as I did The Kitchen House. It had the same emotional pull due to the topic of slavery. Yet, in this second book we see it from a different view. We see how James/Jamie is trying to 'live white' and how he has struggled to let go of all that he was taught about black people, despite him being half black and all the wonderful black people he had encountered in his life. For me, this spoke truthfully of how difficult it is to shed beliefs that are told repeatedly by loved ones from a very young age. He was also able to see how he would be treated differently if people knew he was half black. Social criticism is a difficult thing to willingly accept into your life, especially when you already feel alone.
As James goes off to rescue Pan, we see slavery from yet again a different angle. We do see some of the abuse as we did in The Kitchen House as we read from the perspective of both Pan and Sukey, but we also see the risks that were taken by everyone who was involved in helping slaves escape.
At first I felt the beginning part of the story moved a bit slow. We learn in the first chapter that Pan has been stolen and James is asked to go and rescue him, yet we don't get to the rescue until the second part of the book. However, now that I've finished reading and have reflected back I can appreciate why it was done this way. It gave me a better sense of who James was and why he reacted the way he did in certain situations. I liked how James grew as a character throughout the story. He still had is moments of self-doubt even up until the end, but I think that is natural.
We were given a few chapters in Caroline's voice, James' lover, yet I'm not sure those were needed. I don't feel I learned much, other than it was likely that Caroline really did love James. It also provided some 'acceptance' for Caroline's behavior, but maybe we could have received the information in a different way that would have helped the first part of the story move a bit faster.
I also grew to love the character Addy. At first she was kind of annoying and a bit of a thorn, but she really grew on me. She was a pleasant surprise.
Overall I felt Glory Over Everything was a wonderful book and I would encourage anyone to read it. You don't have to read The Kitchen House first, but why wouldn't you?