A few weeks ago I spent a delightful afternoon putting up my Christmas tree, then poured myself a glass of mulled wine and settled down to read a festive themed book, this one: A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote.
Opening sentence: Imagine a morning in late November.
Comprising of six short stories, this is a biographical wander into Christmas moments, inspired by writer Truman Capote’s life.
Some of the tales had a vague Christmas link, others were more blatant and I particularly loved the ones that focused on young Buddy’s friendship with his much older cousin, Sook who is a pure soul and teaches him a lot about human nature. As Christmas is a time for goodwill and love – she is a beacon of that.
“You don’t understand. You’ve never hated anybody.”
“No, I never have. We’re allotted just so much time on earth, and I wouldn’t want the Lord to see me wasting mine in any such manner.”
Amongst the evocative stories of small-town Christmases, local legends and rituals, there is are some contrasting stories including a particularly bleak tale about a woman, Sylvia who literally sells her dreams to make money and the unfortunate ending of Miss Bobbit… There to remind us, I guess, about balance and happiness.
We wish you a merry Christmas
Written in Truman Capote’s signature lyrical tone – A Christmas Memory is packed full of canny observations and is an engaging blend of joy, realisation and bittersweet moments that always seem to come to light through the festive season.
I loved how none of these stories conveyed a sort of ‘traditional’ Christmas scene – highlighting that everyone’s version of this time of year really is unique. It’s always nice to get an insight into another person’s Christmas, so if you’re looking for a take on festive stories that definitely contain no schmalz, then pour yourself a mulled wine and spend an afternoon with A Christmas Memory.