Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Paperback ARC / Digital Galley
Format: Paperback ARC / Digital Galley
Source: From the publisher
On Sale Date: April 5, 2016
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
Kathleen Grissom's follow up to the Kitchen House is a very riveting page turner and (lucky for me) a great standalone novel. When Glory Over Everything was first pitched to my by Simon & Schuster I was a bit intimidated about reviewing it since I haven't read The Kitchen House. Thankfully, I took the chance because I really enjoyed this one.
The book begins with a quote from Harriet Tubman and is also its namesake:
I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person now I was free. There was such a glory over everything. The sun came up like gold through the trees, and I felt like I was in heaven.Inspiring words from a true heroine in a time where human rights and equality were in a very dismal state.
Glory Over Everything is a beautifully written novel that shines a different light on the topic of slavery. We meet the lead character, Jamie Pyke, who was born to a mulatto slave and a white master. Jamie was raised by his paternal grandmother and was raised "white" - wealthy and privileged. After a turn of events that leave him banished from his home, he escapes to Philadelphia where he builds a new life and persona for himself. Thirty years later, now living as wealthy aristocrat, James Burton. James continues to run from his past. It eventually catches up with him as he heads back to his roots in order to save a friend and in turn, himself.
I truly enjoyed Glory Over Everything. What I enjoyed most was Jamie's character. Jamie was constantly on guard and riddled with fear that his past would catch up to him. It took him many years to reveal his secrets, even to those that were close to him. There was also his ability to love. His relationship with Caroline unravelled his passion and vulnerability. Finally, there was his fighting spirit that emerged in the latter half of the book as he re-entered territories where slavery had not been abolished. Being given the opportunity to see the world from Jamie's eyes was an emotional and exhilarating roller coaster ride.
I would recommend Glory Over Everything to readers who enjoy historical fiction novels and of course to anyone who read and enjoyed The Kitchen House. You can hear more about Kathleen Grissom's inspiration and writing methodologies in the video below.
Let's Take a Shelfie is the final stop for Simon & Schuster Canada's Glory Over Everything Blog Tour. The image to the left lists the previous blog tour stops. Check them out as each blogger has some very interesting takes on the contents of this riveting novel.