October 23, 2019
Genre/Categories: Southern Historical Fiction, Family Drama, Small Town/Rural, Racism
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Dark secrets and multilayered family drama….
The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt takes place in the small southern town of Bound, South Carolina. We are introduced to elderly Miss Judith Kratt as she begins to take inventory of her important and cherished household items. As she generates the list, we are given the back story for each item. Through these flashbacks to 1929, complicated family drama and dark secrets are revealed.
Writing and Themes: Even though The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt is somewhat dark, the writing is beautiful in this page-turning story. I enjoyed the lyrical writing, character development, a slow unraveling of the mystery, and the setting descriptions. The “list” is a thread that cleverly links the two timelines together. Thoughtful themes include sibling rivalry and relationships, dark family secrets, misunderstandings, racism, loyalty, friendship, and loss.
Characters: I think I would categorize Judith as an unreliable narrator in this story filled with many unlikeable characters. In addition to Judith, we get to know Olva, a servant and Judith’s only friend, and Rosemarie, Judith’s irresponsible and younger estranged sister. Supporting characters include Judith’s devious younger brother (Quincy), her controlling and racist father (Daddy Kratt), and various town folk.
I wish: I am left a bit unsatisfied that the murder in the 1929 storyline was accepted in the 1989 storyline in the same manner as other unfortunate family secrets that happened in the past, and I wish that there had been consequences and/or repercussions. In addition, I found it difficult to understand why Judith didn’t have more conflicting feelings toward the person responsible for the murder.
Recommended: If you enjoy complicated and compelling family drama, dark family secrets, complex and unlikeable characters, and dark, southern historical fiction, you might enjoy The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt.
My Rating: 4 Stars
The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt Information (#commissionlink)
Meet the Author, Andrea Bobotis
Andrea Bobotis is the author of the debut novel THE LAST LIST OF MISS JUDITH KRATT.
A native of South Carolina, Andrea holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Virginia. She lives with her family in Denver, Colorado, where she teaches creative writing to youth at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. She is also a yoga teacher and a national parks geek.
To learn more about Andrea and her work, visit her website at https://www.andreabobotis.com/ and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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