Genre: literary fiction. ⭐️Stars from Goodreads: 3.9. ArsStars from me: 5.
An absolutely stunning book was recently published!
I am generally very picky about the books I read. I think there are a lot of books that are okay, there are more books that aren’t, and there are only a handful, very few, that are truly breathtaking. Miss Judith Kratt’s last list is like this.
Although I usually talk about things I liked and things I didn’t like in books, this time around I liked absolutely everything and I have only positive things to say.
“Aren’t memories a bit like furniture of the mind?”
Miss Kratt lives in her big house with Olva who helps her around the house. You have known each other all your life. Both are pretty old now. You haven’t always lived alone in this house. When they were kids there were other people. Miss Kratt’s father was an influential person in the town, and his son, though very young, was a key figure in maintaining that influence. Everything changed when tragedy happened.
Absolutely all characters, regardless of their role, are fully developed and complex.
Miss Judith felt absolutely real to me and I really sympathized with her. Even after the book was over, I still wanted to be there for her. Though she probably wouldn’t appreciate it.
There are some characters that I despised, although I could understand why they acted this way.
None of the characters are perfect, but neither are they artificially flawed.
The writing is perfect. I got the feeling that the story was told by Miss Judith herself and not by the author. I highlighted so many quotes in my copy that it took me a few minutes to go through them all. Here are a few:
“… she wore a gray dress that contained the sad promise that she would be black one day.”
“He was a small town man who read big city newspapers.”
“… Conversations with siblings cannot be separated from all previous conversations.”
“We enter this world and put our tiny hands around our mother’s fingers. We leave them with the same hands that have arthritis. How could we pretend our grip, clinging to life from opposite ends, remains the same? “
I liked the fluidity of the chapters, the two storylines, one in the past, one in the present, that flowed two separate paths and then fused together.
I particularly liked how the chapters were separated by Miss Judith’s inventory list. New items were added to the list after each chapter. If you didn’t know the story behind the objects, you wouldn’t be paying any attention to them, but because you’ve read the chapter, you know what the objects mean, and just a single mention could evoke a whole wave of memories. This is pure literary magic.
What I liked best
I loved the stories themselves and the way they were told. There is no melodrama in them. The stories are deep and touching, even if they are scary and sad.
This book brought tears to my eyes just because it is so perfect. I am very grateful to the author for this book and of course to the editors for sending me the copy in return for my honest (if emotional) review. I hope Andrea Bobotis will write more books. I look forward to your new work.