The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis
“Memory and history are bound up with one another. Where does one end and the other begin?” *
Miss Judith Kratt has spent her entire seventy five years in the small town of Bound, South Carolina. She lives in her childhood home which was once a grand symbol of Bound’s strong economy, owed largely to her father who owned the cotton gins and the general store. Her childhood friend Olva, who was abandoned as a baby on her aunt’s doorstep, lives with her.
As a child, Judith didn’t understand that Daddy Kratt built his wealth on hard work and blackmail. Her brother Quincy was his ears, collecting the secrets of everyone in town to use when it would benefit him the most. Her sister Rosemarie was always quiet on the periphery because she realized how dangerous secrets could be.
On a fateful night in 1929, Quincy was shot and killed. Rosemarie left town that night and hasn’t returned since.
Sixty years later, Judith has received a postcard with one sentence: Sister, I am coming home.
The postcard stirs up her memories of the year her brother died and as she looks around her home, still full of heirlooms attached with memories, Judith decides to begin an inventory of items.
“It is important to know that Rosemarie has never been bound by any sense of responsibility to our family. You see, Quincy gathered secrets, but Rosemarie’s impulse was to scatter them to the wind. And my sister believes I killed Quincy. Well now. It was time to get my inventory underway.” *
As Judith begins an inventory of the items and her sister Rosemarie returns after a sixty year absence, secrets of the the past are revealed that will change a family and a town forever.
The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt is a beautifully written novel that examines family secrets, memory, and love. Judith’s narration in alternating timelines is well-executed with the naivete of youth in the past and the solemn introspection that comes with age in the present. I loved the different versions of the truth that unfolded and how each version shifted the perspective of each character involved.
This is definitely one to stack for fans of historical fiction and mystery that focuses on familial bonds and secrets!
Thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt is scheduled for release on July 9, 2019.
*Quotes included are from a digital advanced reader’s copy and are subject to change upon final publication.