A Christmas Memory (1956) by Truman Capote is a beautiful short story. The story was first published in Mademoiselle magazine.
The story, which takes place in the 1930s, is very autobiographical. It is told from the POV of a seven-year-old boy who is unnamed but is called Buddy by his cousin. Buddy is based on Capote when he was a young boy. His cousin Sook is based on his cousin Sook and is referred to as my friend. Sook was Capote’s cousin and best friend. The pair live with other relatives and the dog Queenie and are not very rich. However, they both love Christmas and save up to make the occasion amazing every year.
Fruitcakes are a big part of this story. Buddy and Sook made them every Christmas. They go and collect pecans for the fruitcakes and purchase other things they need like whiskey from bootlegger Haha Jones. These fruitcakes, which take four days to create, they send to acquaintances and famous people. They also go to get the Christmas tree and make decorations for it as well as gifts for everyone. They make each other a kite as a present and go fly them together. It is their last Christmas together as Buddy is sent off to Military school the following year and they never got to spend another Christmas together before Sook’s death.
This story is a beautiful story of family and friendship. Buddy and Sook really care for each other and love spending time together. It’s obvious the love and warmth that is there for each other. It is so moving to read. They just get each other and they have each other’s backs and it’s lovely. I think they are both fun and non-conformist and happy. I really like both characters and their relationship with each other. It makes you feel all warm and happy inside reading it.
The only thing I thought was a huge problem was how Sook allowed Buddy to drink the leftover whiskey and they both got drunk. I still like her but that was not responsible by any means!
The end of this book is heartbreaking. It is what happens in life. It’s based on truth so it would be. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t rip your heart (which has been filled with heart-warming feelings up to this point) out and make you feel so sad. Because prior to that you are reading about their beautiful relationship and then there is just the memories. It reminds you to cherish the moments you have with your own loved ones because nothing will last forever.
Oh, and I love Queenie too! 🙂
It’s a gorgeous story. It’s a must-read.
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