Title: A Christmas Memory
Author: Truman Capote
Opening lines: ‘…Imagine a morning in late November …’
A CHRISTMAS MEMORY is an autobiographical short story of a Christmas past in Truman Capote’s life. In the 1930s, when he was a very young boy, he was left in the care of an eccentric group of relatives, deep in the Alabama countryside. In many ways, Truman was lucky because it was also during this period that he enjoyed the care and friendship of his aging but childlike cousin, Miss Sook Faulk. She became both parent and best friend at a time when he needed both. Every year they had a tradition, well she did, Truman just helped, to make 30 whisky soaked fruitcakes which were then sent to people they admire such as President Roosevelt, some missionaries, a bus driver – even the illegal liquor supplier who sold them the alcohol for the cake. All through the year they scrimped and saved to get enough money to buy the ingredients for the cake and pay for the postage. A CHRISTMAS MEMORY covers their four-day frenzy of ingredient gathering, cake preparing and baking, and the giving out of the cakes.
It is a heart-warming story, and heartbreaking too when the good times came to an end and Truman was sent off to military school leaving his beloved Sook and dog Queenie. He never saw her again although he kept up a correspondence with her for as long as she was able to. A CHRISTMAS MEMORY transports the reader back to life in a remote part of the country in 1930s with wood-burning stoves, no take-away, using (and emptying out) chamber pots, chores and playing outside as there is no TV; a slower way of life. A CHRISTMAS MEMORY is a memory of life with the one family member who truly loved Truman and he loved back.
Rating: B – Great. I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends who like this genre.
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