By Andrea Bobitis
** Publication date 9 July 2019 **
Miss Judith Kratt is a prim and proper spinster whose life is about to be turned upside down. Judith was born in Bound. Her father was the town’s most successful businessman. He made his money in cotton. As his business empire grew, he depended on his children Judith, the oldest, and Quincy, the middle child. Judith was his right hand daughter. She worked in the family mercantile. Quincy was the one who needed daddy’s approval. And then there is Rosemarie, the youngest. She is the beautiful, wild one. Rosemarie was not depended on for anything.
As we meet Miss Judith, she is living in the family home with Olva. Olva grew up in the home of Miss Judith’s aunt Dee, but is as much a member of the Pratt family as anyone. Miss Judith, at the ripe old age of seventy-five has decided to catalog the contents of the family home. The important things that are in it. Miss Judith puts a lot of worth into the things. Olva doesn’t seem to agree.
The story is written in current and past tense, between the current day Judith and the stories of the things and her life as a young adult in the 1920s and 30s. Central to many of the tales are the “things” that she holds dear. The underlying narrative tells us about Judith’s life and the lives of those around her. How secrets and lies can tie up a family in knots. How what appears on the surface may not be what is the truth.
This book is like the south itself, slow moving and solid. It is to be savored, not rushed through. Interspersed throughout is the actual list of objects, which grows with every chapter. It is the list that ties the whole story together. While it is slow moving, it is beautifully written. It brings forth a story about the segregated south that on the surface appears to have improved but deep down, there are still hidden secrets to be uncovered. I enjoyed this book very much.