Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite
Oh, what an emotional ride The Kitchen Mistress: The Letter Series Book 3 by Kathleen Shoop has been! Katherine, the protagonist, loves her family more than anything in the world. She wants to help her mother, Jeanie Arthur, in every possible manner. Katherine has a twin brother, Tommy, and a younger sister, Yale. She had one more brother, James, but he died in a storm. However, Katherine sees James every now and then. In fact, James is not the only dead person whom she can see. She has a gift that allows her to see souls and angels. She tried to tell her mother about this gift, but Jeanie never encouraged her talent. She always pushes Katherine to focus on completing her education and getting a job. When Katherine was very young, her family had everything. But certain circumstances made them lose it all. This tragedy changed the Arthur family entirely. Katherine and Tommy had to move away from their whole family and each other for quite a few years. Fortunately, they found their way back to one another. Those years of separation were very tough on Katherine; therefore, she decided to do everything in her power to keep her family together forever.
Since Jeanie's husband had left her long ago, many residents are reluctant to allow her family to stay in their home as a tenant. Thankfully, a businesswoman, Violet Pendergrass, allows them to stay at the property behind her house as long as they take care of her kitchen, tend her garden, obey her commands, and keep the baby (Yale) out of her sight. Glad to have found a shelter, the Arthurs agree to all her terms. Katherine's culinary skills helped her win the title of "the kitchen mistress" from Violet. Things were looking up until Violet found out about Katherine's special talent.
The ladies of The Kitchen Mistress: The Letter Series Book 3 by Kathleen Shoop are wise, strong, self-sufficient, and compassionate. Jeanie's patience, kindness, confidence, and tenderness have been a real treat for me as a reader. She works hard to provide for her family. She does not look for a man to give it all to her for free; instead, she works tirelessly for it. She encourages her children to get an education and make a good life for themselves. Violet, to me, seemed a very mysterious character. Up until the last page, I could not form a solid opinion about her. The author has very cleverly written her character. My favorite character is definitely Katherine. She never stops believing in herself -- even when half the time she was unsure if the person in front of her eyes was alive or dead.
The author has done a praiseworthy job of narrating a fiction story that is filled with deep emotions, strong characters, engaging dialogues, and a wonderful plot. The pace of the story is just right. It is a long read but I, as a reader, found myself interested in gathering every pearl of wisdom and/or entertainment that the story had to offer me. Although it is not a horror story, the sudden appearances of the dead people gave me chills. I get scared easily so other readers might not feel the goosebumps. This is a story of loving your family, keeping your head held high, walking forward, and believing in yourself. After singing so many praises, it is just a formality to say that I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.