A Christmas Memory

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Title: A Christmas Memory

Writer: Truman Capote

Publishing House: Penguin Classics

Date of Publication: October 29th 2020 (first published 1956)

Rating: 5 stars

‘’It’s fruitcake weather.’’

‘’Now a nude December fig branch grates against the window. The kitchen is empty, the cakes are gone; yesterday we courted the last of them to the post office, where the cast of stamps turned our purse inside out. We’re broke.’’

A boy takes our hand to lead ys to the USA of the (not so distant) past when equality was non-existent, when everything was either good or evil, when money was everything. Left by a mother who decided her career mattered more, left by a father who seemed more like a weird stranger than an actual father, the body tries to fathom the world around him. And, frankly, the world isn’t doing him any favours…

But a gentle friend is there to look after him and guide him down a road that is loaded with all kinds of hurdles. And Christmas. Christmas is there to form a different reality, even if it is only for a few days. This collection is a journey to an outrageous, sad, yet strangely nostalgic era.

‘’Think of the quietest thing. Like snow. I’m sorry you didn’t get to see any. But bow show is falling through the stars.’’

A Christmas Memory: Buddy introduces us to his quirky family and his very peculiar friend, a woman named Sook. This story contains some of the most beautiful descriptions of the familiar Christmas hullabaloo.

The Thanksgiving Visitor: Buddy has to face his nemesis when Sook invites the class bully to their Thanksgiving dinner. A story with a moving closure.

One Christmas: Buddy travels to New Orleans to spend Christmas with his father and discovers the truth of his mother’s words. Brilliant, moving writing.

Master Misery: I encountered this story of thwarted dreams and surreal ambitions in the brilliant collection New York Stories by Everyman’s Library. I devoured it for the second time and my fear for Central Park has grown no less…

Children on their Birthday: Buddy introduces to a very special lady with pretty original ideas on God and the Devil.

Jug of Silver: A contest becomes the ground for feuds, secrets and magic births.

‘’By now it was almost nightfall, a firefly hour, blue as milkglass; and birds like arrows swooped together and swept into the folds of trees. Before storms, leaves and flowers appear to burn with a private light, colour, and Miss Bobbit, got up in a little white skirt like a powderpuff and with strips of gold – glittering tinsel ribboning her hair, seemed, set against the darkening all around, to contain this illuminated quality.’’

Many thanks to Penguin Classics and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.