A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

 

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Originally published on Dec 31 2013.

3/5 stars.
ebook, 48 pages.
Read on November 20, 2013.

I have to admit this is my first Capote read. I have yet to read In Cold Blood or anything else by him as he hasn’t really ever peaked my interest but this little short story has intrigued me to reconsider Capote.

At seven, Capote knows that the Christmas season begins when his much older cousin, Sook, exclaims that “It’s fruitcake weather!“. The story focuses on the wonderful relationship that Capote has with his eccentric and quirky cousin and the traditions that the two of them take part in during Christmas. It’s absolutely endearing that the two of them save all year so that they can make fruitcake for their family, friends and neighbours and that they both yearn to give each other something spectacular for Christmas but can never afford to so they just make each other kites. While the story ends rather sadly with Capote eventually being sent away to school and losing touch with his dear cousin the story is a nostalgic reminder of the spirit of Christmas and to be grateful for all of the wonderful miracles that life has already presented us. As Sook realizes:

“You know what I’ve always thought?” she asks in a tone of discovery and not smiling at me but a point beyond. “I’ve always thought a body would have to be sick and dying before they saw the Lord. And I imagined that when he came it would be like looking at the Baptist window: pretty as colored glass with the sun pouring through, such a shine you don’t know it’s getting dark. And it’s been a comfort: to think of that shine taking away all the spooky feeling. But I’11 wager it never happens. I’11 wager at the very end a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are”—her hand circles in a gesture that gathers clouds and kites and grass and Queenie pawing earth over her bone—”just what they’ve always seen, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes.”

This story is about finding finding beauty in everyday life, appreciating your loved ones and being grateful for what you have no matter how little that may be. That is the Christmas spirit. This book is perfect story to read at Christmas, even aloud, though I would recommend it for an older audience. Overall, I really enjoyed this quick read and will be looking forward to reading more Capote in the future!

Winter is coming… oh wait. It’s already here.

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I’m trying to devour the behemoth that is Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust at the moment and thought that this image was appropriate.

Where I’m located is going through a bit of a cold snap; lots of snow and -30 C (-22 F) temperatures, meaning that I’ve been spending a lot more time inside lately. So I’ve had a bit more time with my books and my kitties as running, functioning or trying to get anything done in this weather proves to be quite difficult (yes, I still want to run, even when the weather is this bad). It’s not such a bad thing to be forced inside as I just got back from a wonderful trip over to the UK, the chilly temperatures allow me to catch up a bit and it forces me to take some down time before I really start tackling Christmas. I’m normally all done my Christmas preparations by this time but it’s just been too hectic, as the excuse always is. On top of Christmas and all that it brings, I also have to start preparing to move in four weeks time as well as start planning some stuff for a wedding that I’m going to be a part of in February. This also means that I have to be careful that I don’t procrastinate for too long but this weather, just like when you’re trying to drive in it, forces you to slow down a bit.

Hoping to have some new reviews up soon before the madness of the season ensues.