The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom, was a very moving story about just what it means to be a family. Set in the South during the 18th and 19th Centuries, it chronicles the life of Lavinia, an Irish orphan who is indentured as a young child to a slave owner in Virginia. Color-blind, as youngsters were, even then, Lavinia is raised by the plantation's slaves, and they become her family, easily filling the gaping holes in her heart.
Profound and tragic, The Kitchen House explores the complex nature of the lives of blacks and whites during that time, highlighting the various relationships, whether it was through blood-relation, violence, simple circumstance, or honest commitment. The characters are fully formed and they command the reader's attention, as their flaws unfurl, revealing their true natures, both good and bad.
One of the best books I've read recently. I highly recommend it.