The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt

The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt

Some bury their secrets close to home. Others scatter them to the wind and hope they land somewhere far away.Judith Kratt inherited all the Kratt family had to offer—the pie safe, the copper clock, the murder no one talks about. She knows it's high time to make an inventory of her household and its valuables, but she finds that cataloging the family belongings—as well as...

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Title:The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt
Author:Andrea Bobotis
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt Reviews

  • Peter

    To take a journey through a story enraptured by the characters and setting, to enjoy the slowly maturing and revealing threads of secrets which friends and family have held close, to witness the community dynamics across a spectrum of personalities, and to truly appreciate the slow transition towards equality between whites and blacks in society - that is the amazing experience awaiting the reader of this wonderful book.

    is a totally absorbing novel

    To take a journey through a story enraptured by the characters and setting, to enjoy the slowly maturing and revealing threads of secrets which friends and family have held close, to witness the community dynamics across a spectrum of personalities, and to truly appreciate the slow transition towards equality between whites and blacks in society - that is the amazing experience awaiting the reader of this wonderful book.

    is a totally absorbing novel with such beautiful writing reminding us of the classics. The book is written from the first person perspective, with Miss Judith Kratt narrating over 2 time periods; when she was a young girl of 15 in 1929, and as an elderly lady of 75 in 1989.

    Daddy Kratt is a stern man, ruthless in business and ambitious to the point where he effectively controls the town of Bound in South Carolina. He owns the cotton gins and several plantations, he built the department store that sold everything needed by the community and is a landlord with 500 acres of land. He is also that feared father and husband, as he rules his family with unquestioned authority.

    As a young girl, Judith is the eldest of 3 children and works for Daddy Kratt in the Department store keeping inventory and running tours of the 4-floor department store. Judith’s brother Quincy, is the son striving to impress the domineering and powerful father. He skulks around, eavesdropping to uncover secrets or misdemeanours that can be leveraged against anyone, which he furnishes his father with. Rosemarie is two years younger than Judith, still flighty and is excused from working in the store. All three children grow up with Olva, a black girl of the same age, whom their Mama had a special fondness for.

    As the older introspective woman, Judith has aged with various biased beliefs and a recognition that the family house and standing, are synonymous with her. She shares her life in the Kratt family mansion with Olva, who has remained with Judith her whole life. Judith decides to undertake an inventory of all the possessions within the house. Many of the items have deep meaning or sentimental value, and each with their own story which is told during the earlier time period and listed in the latter. This is a brilliant way to draw the two eras together and those threads that run across time bring an appealing aspect to the novel. Judith receives a postcard from Rosemarie indicating she’s coming home after 60 years away, and the old memories come flooding back.

    Secrets permeate every relationship, and different versions of the truth weave a complicated story that illustrates how the ambiguity of perception can underpin false incrimination and the stances people take. Even after 60 years, secrets can be exposed.

    This book is an immersive literary delight. The writing is beautifully descriptive with a wonderful array of characters including, family, friends, servants, employees, business partners and town folk, all adding amazing dimensions to the characterisations and interactions. The secrets and consequences are worth waiting for, even though you may guess them -that’s not the point – the journey is the reward.

    This is another Buddy Read with Beata and she used some wonderful terms describing Judith that I wish I'd thought of. You'll have to read her review to find out. I would highly recommend this book and I'd like to thank Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC version in return for an honest review.

    Cover Design: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Title: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Proofreading Success: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Quality of Book Formatting: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Book Format/Status: Kindle/ARC

    Illustrations: N/A

    Number of Pages: 320

    Number of Chapters: 14 (approx 23 pages per chapter)

  • Mackey

    Being born and raised in the southern part of the US, I came to love southern literature. It has a flow and charm to it, a rhythm that is unlike any other. When it is done well you can smell the gardenias and magnolias on every page and feel the grit from the dusty Delta roads. The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt is such a novel, one that envelops you and transports you to the hot, humid backroads of the deep south complete with its oppressive heat and family turmoil.

    Miss Judith wants to make a

    Being born and raised in the southern part of the US, I came to love southern literature. It has a flow and charm to it, a rhythm that is unlike any other. When it is done well you can smell the gardenias and magnolias on every page and feel the grit from the dusty Delta roads. The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt is such a novel, one that envelops you and transports you to the hot, humid backroads of the deep south complete with its oppressive heat and family turmoil.

    Miss Judith wants to make a list of all that she owns before it is her "time to go." She doesn't have much; in fact, she doesn't have anything of value really except memories and stories and secrets. She would like to keep the worst of those secrets all the way to her grave but she knows that will be impossible when her sister returns home hell-bent on exposing all that she knows regardless of the cost to anyone around her.

    The actual story itself is, for many of us, as old as the hills: a family that has grown apart due to a tragedy that had to be kept quiet, in this case a murder that was covered up decades before the story takes place. As Miss Judith tells her story, catalogues her belongings and her life, however, we realize that this is more than an ordinary tale, but rather one that is told beautifully, with eloquence and in a manner not unlike the great story-tellers of the past: Faulkner and Harper Lee, even a touch of Flannery O'Connor's biting wit comes through in the tapestry that Bobotis has woven together.

    Don't be fooled, however. This is not just a piece of fiction, an historical account of Miss Judith's life. There is a mystery here, deep and dark, that must be resolved for all those concerned. Regardless of your genre of choice, this is a book for everyone, a classic in the making.

    Thank you to #Eidleweiss, @Sourcebooks and #AndreaBobotis for my copy of this

    amazing book on sale today at your favorite bookseller and Amazon

  • Liz

    Told from the perspective of Miss Judith, this book has the stilted tone of a proper southern lady from the first half of the 20th century. Miss Judith, age 75 years, begins an inventory of her family possessions, which brings on a flight of memories, especially back to a fateful time in 1929. The return of her sister Rosemary after 60 years also threatens to expose a number of family secrets.

    It’s a beautifully written book. “She became a long, solitary coil of smoke escaping a snuffed candle.”

    Told from the perspective of Miss Judith, this book has the stilted tone of a proper southern lady from the first half of the 20th century. Miss Judith, age 75 years, begins an inventory of her family possessions, which brings on a flight of memories, especially back to a fateful time in 1929. The return of her sister Rosemary after 60 years also threatens to expose a number of family secrets.

    It’s a beautifully written book. “She became a long, solitary coil of smoke escaping a snuffed candle.”

    While I struggled to connect with Judith, I was entranced by her comments on sibling relations. The book tackles loyalty, prejudice, the struggle to survive and how what we hold dear defines us.

    The book moves as slowly as the air on a languid summer day. The author does a good job of capturing the time and place. I could see what the big reveals were going to be from soon after the beginning. But that didn’t make me upset. This book wasn’t so much about the conclusion as about the journey. I truly enjoyed it. I will say it took me a while to get drawn into the book. But once it drew me in, it truly gripped me. So, if you’re waffling at the beginning, stick with it.

    I recommend this to anyone who likes dark southern fiction. I was pleased to see the book is meant to include a list of discussion questions as I think this would make an excellent choice for book clubs.

    My thanks to netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an advance copy of this book.

  • Beata

    Recently I have been lucky to read debut novels that turn out to be intriguing. The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt is definitely the novel that surprised me and kept me interested not merely for the mystery unravelled by Miss Kratt as she approaches the end of her long life.

    For one thing, I liked the narration which is classic-like, with reminiscences, and I liked Judith being an unreliable narrator. Besides, she knows a lot but keeps cards close to chest until the very end of the novel.

    Recently I have been lucky to read debut novels that turn out to be intriguing. The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt is definitely the novel that surprised me and kept me interested not merely for the mystery unravelled by Miss Kratt as she approaches the end of her long life.

    For one thing, I liked the narration which is classic-like, with reminiscences, and I liked Judith being an unreliable narrator. Besides, she knows a lot but keeps cards close to chest until the very end of the novel.

    Moreover, the place itself, a small cotton town of Bound in the Deep South is a location where everybody knows each other, where everybody knows each other's secrets but doesn't reveal them until the right time comes. Bound is described wonderfully and I could actually visualize the place and learn what life what like in such places in the second decade of the 20th century and earlier. And the characters. Some of them are more likeable than others, they are well-portrayed and believable in their actions.

    *Many thanks to Andrea Bobotis, Sourcebooks and Netgalley for providing me with arc in exchange for my honest review.*

    This was my third Buddy Read with my GR Friend Peter. So far, we have been extremely fortunate with the books we read, and I hope it stays this way 😊 Peter is extremely patient and understanding, and asks questions that add to the pleasure of reading. Thanks, Peter! His review gives an excellent insight into this book I highly recommend:

  • Carol

    This story is an emotionally unsettling tale that gradually builds an undercurrent of menace beneath a layer of beguiling Southern gentility. What an inspiring contrast!

    The setting is the small Southern town of Bound, South Carolina during a timeline set between 1929 and 1989. Judith Kratt, now in her 70s decides to inventory her many heirlooms, which triggers a host of ugly truths from her past, including criminal activity, bigotry and racism, and even murder.

    Andrea Bobitis’s debut novel was an

    This story is an emotionally unsettling tale that gradually builds an undercurrent of menace beneath a layer of beguiling Southern gentility. What an inspiring contrast!

    The setting is the small Southern town of Bound, South Carolina during a timeline set between 1929 and 1989. Judith Kratt, now in her 70s decides to inventory her many heirlooms, which triggers a host of ugly truths from her past, including criminal activity, bigotry and racism, and even murder.

    Andrea Bobitis’s debut novel was an accomplished and bittersweet tale with a rich cast of characters. It’s a compulsively readable story full of revelations of secrets and lies that reveal the murky and complicated human dimension of slavery’s legacy and racism that festers even decades later.

    I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend this thought-provoking novel!

    My thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark through Goodreads Book Giveaway for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • Angela M

    “Windsor chair

    Wooden spinning wheel

    Mahogany secretary

    R.S. Prussia vase

    Pie safe —Grandmother DeLour’s Butler’s tray (silver plated) Amsterdam School copper

    mantel clock

    Hamilton drafting table

    Letter opener (cut glass)”

    Things are just things - aren’t they ? It’s not that simple as 75 year old Judith Kratt begins her inventory of items of value in her house at the end of the first chapter. As the list grows it tells the story of this southern, well to do at one time, family and what happened to

    “Windsor chair

    Wooden spinning wheel

    Mahogany secretary

    R.S. Prussia vase

    Pie safe —Grandmother DeLour’s Butler’s tray (silver plated) Amsterdam School copper

    mantel clock

    Hamilton drafting table

    Letter opener (cut glass)”

    Things are just things - aren’t they ? It’s not that simple as 75 year old Judith Kratt begins her inventory of items of value in her house at the end of the first chapter. As the list grows it tells the story of this southern, well to do at one time, family and what happened to them in 1929 to bring them where they are in 1989. The story of what happened in 1929 unfolds in alternating narratives with the present 1989, both told by Judith, a recluse who has not left her house in 60 years. It’s the story of a southern family beset by dysfunction and secrets, a family headed by a domineering, racist father who pretty much owns the town of Bound, South Carolina, controlling the businesses and the people of the town as he struggles to control his family. It about a mother, who carries her secrets and broken heart, about the fourteen year old brother, whose murder is announced in the opening of the novel, about the sister who runs away and returns 60 years later. And of course, the enigmatic Judith and Olva, the black woman whose history is tied to the Kratt family in ways that we come to know as the story progresses, as the list grows.

    I loved how the story was told right through to the end of the list. I was always captivated even as I surmised the secrets long before the ending. Recommended to those who enjoy southern lit and to those who enjoy family sagas . Kudos to Andrea Bobotis for a notable debut.

    I received an advanced copy of this book from Sourcebooks Landmark through Edelweiss.

  • Carolyn

    Miss Judith Kratt is 75 and has decided the time has come to take an inventory of her family's possessions. She lives alone with Olva, an old family maid, rattling around in the grand mansion built by her father Daddy Kratt and his money made from cotton in the South Carolina of the 1920s. In a time of segregation, lynchings, greed and corruption, Daddy Kratt ruled with an iron fist over most of the small town through his cotton empire and grand department store. Miss Judith once kept the

    Miss Judith Kratt is 75 and has decided the time has come to take an inventory of her family's possessions. She lives alone with Olva, an old family maid, rattling around in the grand mansion built by her father Daddy Kratt and his money made from cotton in the South Carolina of the 1920s. In a time of segregation, lynchings, greed and corruption, Daddy Kratt ruled with an iron fist over most of the small town through his cotton empire and grand department store. Miss Judith once kept the inventory for her father's store and now with her parents and brother dead, her sister not seen since she fled her home some 60 years ago, she reflects on past events and family secrets as she lists the various items in her home.

    The novel has a very authentic Southern feel and the characters feel just right. Daddy Kratt almost leaps out of the page, striding through his department store, striking fear into the hearts of all as he passes, including his children. Although Miss Judith is difficult to like at first, remote and somewhat selfish, it's easier to feel some understanding of her as she retells events from the past, particularly her friendship with Charlie, the colored mechanic at the store and as her newspaper deliveryman Marcus and his little daughter enter her current life. This is an excellent debut novel and I loved the structure of the chapters with Miss Judith's list reflecting her past life. It takes a little while to hook you in but once it does it's an engrossing tale. 4.5★

  • Zoeytron

    A place for everything, and everything in its place. It's an old proverb, and one that wears well. It certainly reflects Miss Judith Kratt's way of thinking. As one grows older, it is not unusual to start taking stock of your life. Making an inventory of things, and the memories attached to them. The evolution of objects as well as people, some of these we save, while sacrificing others. This is Southern lit to its very core, with a backdrop of shadowy secrets meant to be kept secret.

    A place for everything, and everything in its place.  It's an old proverb, and one that wears well.  It certainly reflects Miss Judith Kratt's way of thinking.  As one grows older, it is not unusual to start taking stock of your life.  Making an inventory of things, and the memories attached to them.  The evolution of objects as well as people, some of these we save, while sacrificing others.  This is Southern lit to its very core, with a backdrop of shadowy secrets meant to be kept secret.

  • Cheri

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!

    3.5 Stars

    Judith is in her mid-seventies as this begins, this story goes back and forth through time, alternating between the present year – 1989, and the past – 1929, in the small town of Bound, South Carolina, where her father once reigned,

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!

    3.5 Stars

    Judith is in her mid-seventies as this begins, this story goes back and forth through time, alternating between the present year – 1989, and the past – 1929, in the small town of Bound, South Carolina, where her father once reigned, living in the once grand home that has seen better days.

    In her earlier years, Judith worked in her father’s store, keeping the records of their inventory, and she begins to do the same with items in the family home, which has been home to only Judith and Olva, a woman who serves as Judith’s companion, and friend, who also helps to take care of her. Judith’s brother, Quincy, died sixty years ago, and her sister, Rosemarie ran off after his death.

    And then Judith receives mail letting her know that Rosemarie is coming to visit, and Judith begins her “list,” an inventory of the items in the home which are family heirlooms, and the secrets attached to each slowly come to the surface. Family secrets, but also the secrets kept by the town, as well. Some secrets she might prefer remain buried, and some begin to haunt her – and she can’t help but be disturbed by the return of her sister, and the timing of her leaving to begin with. What does her sister want after all these years? She continues on with cataloguing all of the items. In part because she feels she will be remembered for these items,

    Memories, families, racial division and love are the primary themes in this story, which is a very slow moving story, and it took me too long to really feel invested in this story, chasing different memories over time – but I have to say that the ending wrapped everything up so that most of my initial hopes weren’t completely dashed – just a bit diminished. The writing is occasionally lovely, and the full story behind all of the hidden whispers from years past eventually comes to light, which provided an almost perfect ending for this story.

    Pub Date: 09 Jul 2019

    Many thanks for the ARC provided by Sourcebooks Landmark

  • *TUDOR^QUEEN*

    This work of historical fiction takes place in South Carolina during a sixty-year period (encompassing the 1920s through 1980s). Without warning, the time period weaves back and forth as the story unfolds. At the book's beginning, Judith and Olva are relaxing in their sunroom, enjoying the warmth. There is a sense of old age, and a kind of quiet, loving relationship between these two elderly women. They share a long history together. Olva is thoughtful, speaks carefully, and is always offering

    This work of historical fiction takes place in South Carolina during a sixty-year period (encompassing the 1920s through 1980s). Without warning, the time period weaves back and forth as the story unfolds. At the book's beginning, Judith and Olva are relaxing in their sunroom, enjoying the warmth. There is a sense of old age, and a kind of quiet, loving relationship between these two elderly women. They share a long history together. Olva is thoughtful, speaks carefully, and is always offering to do things for Judith. It slowly becomes a revelation that Olva is a woman of color. A newspaper report that Judith Kratt's only brother Quincy was murdered at the age of 14 in 1929 is the first piece of information thrust at the reader. The book will take you on a journey from the past to the present to slowly unravel the mystery of who killed Quincy, and also to uncover family secrets.

    But as the book begins, Judith has decided that she wants to make an accounting of various valuables owned by the Kratt family. As each chapter ends, items are diligently listed that Judith has spoken about during those pages. When you get to the final chapter, the list will be long and complete. Judith's family home is very important to her, and these family heirlooms are treasures with stories to tell.

    Daddy Kratt ran a successful cotton gin business and eventually opened the Kratt Mercantile Company, a glittering, imposing multi-floored store that even had elevators. Judith was trusted to take inventory and on opening day she took endless store visitors on tours of the facility. However, Daddy Kratt was a ruthless businessman and an abusive, cold-hearted father. Son Quincy, all of 14 years old, would gather information on various people in the (fictional) town of Bound, South Carolina to use against them in order to curry favor with his father. These would serve to improve the Kratt family's business interests by blackmailing enemies. In 1989 we know that the store did not survive, so that is another story to tell.

    The book centers heavily on issues of race relations, the depressed state of a once thriving town, a disfunctional family, and closely held family secrets. The character of the murdered boy Quincy was so despicable that I was devoid of any sympathy, or even in much interest as to who killed him. Ditto for the father Daddy Kratt. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. The core relationship that appealed to me most was that of Judith and Olva, and the saving grace of these characters carried my middling interest to the book's conclusion.

    Thank you to the publisher SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

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