Published by Modern Library on May 10th 2014
Seven-year-old Buddy inaugurates the Christmas season by crying out to his cousin, Miss Sook Falk: "It's fruitcake weather!" Thus begins an unforgettable portrait of an odd but enduring friendship between two innocent souls--one young and one old--and the memories they share of beloved holiday rituals
A Christmas Memory is a lovely collection of holiday stories. Prior to this small book, the only thing I had read by Truman Capote was In Cold Blood. Part of the brilliance behind that work of non-fiction was the writing, it was almost lyrical and truly remarkable. In this way, I was not disappointed by A Christmas Memory. It was as delectable as a sugarplum. Each sentence was music to my ears.
Each story was unique in its own way. In A Christmas Memory the featured story about a young Truman Capote (referred to in all three stories as Buddy) is more a vignette of thoughts of his friend Sook a charming older woman who is child-like in so many ways. It is an endearing story of unconditional love. Although, it was not the season’s cheer or fruitcake that drew me in but the description of Sook’s kitchen. It was so warm and vivid and despite its modestness felt homey. The detail encompassed me and is what first captivated me to Truman Capote’s book.
Second, is One Christmas an essay of a Christmas spent in New Orléans with Buddy’s distant father. Perhaps I have The Gilmore Girls Reboot on my mind but it reminded me of an episode from the first season. In it Rory’s father visits Stars Hallow. Christopher gives hope for reconciliation and the promise of gifts he can’t afford only to go off in the night again. However, this second volume has much more depth than any episode devised by Amy Sherman-Palladino. There is a vulnerability in Buddy’s relationship with his father that is worded so very carefully. I also really enjoyed the innocence of Buddy with his still believing in Santa, it was darling, with an explanation of Saint Nick’s existence being nothing short of delightful.
In the last story, The Thanksgiving Visitor Buddy has an enemy that can only be compared to that of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. Although, I was most reminded of the meal shared between Scout Finch and Walter Cunningham. In that simple meal meant as an olive branch Scout cannot keep her mouth shut and in turn is a very rude inconsiderate host. Buddy shares a similar trait and quite honestly, annoyed me to no end. This could well be due to the fact that adults seldom look at things through a child’s eye, but despite the visitor’s wrong doings felt empathy for him and for his sake wished it was a dream. The moral of the story I felt was the power of words. How they can be twisted, used and become accusatory. It is a heartening read that can evoke many emotions.
Overall, A Christmas Story by Truman Capote is a distinct set of holiday stories that are warm and meaningful and therefore just as special a yule tide tale as A Christmas Carol or The Greatest Gift, an absoulte treasure.