Meghan's Reviews > A Christmas Memory

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
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Jan 06, 12

Read in November, 2011

When I was in my junior year of high school, my English teacher Mrs. O'Brien brought this book in one day. She sat on the edge of her desk, and she held up a well worn copy of it, and told us that each year before Thanksgiving she reads the entire book (there are three novellas included). Then she proceeded to read to us. We were mesmerized. She read that entire period, and we all had tears in our eyes as she read "A Christmas Memory". The next day, we filed in, she sat on her desk, and she read us the next one. Again, we were all quiet and full of awe. The next day, which was the day before our Thanksgiving holiday, she read the last one.

I was in love with Truman Capote and his writing, and I was shaken to the core-- I'd never been exposed to writing this... naked... before. It was bitter but true, and exposed the best and worst of human nature. I think I wrote a report on it, because the day before Christmas break, Mrs. O'Brien gave me a hardcover copy of the book, and told me she was so happy that I loved it like she did.

Fast forward (gulp) 20 some years. In riffling through yet another box of books that I have not fully "unpacked" in our move 6 years ago, I found it. I sat in the basement, on the cold dusty floor, and I began to read it. I cried openly, and I read it all that night. My husband thought I was goofy. I read part of it to him, and he understood. Then I reread it later on before the holidays were in true rush mode. Again, I find this to be one of the most poignant books of literature I've encountered.

I put the book on a shelf in the living room, so that I can see it and read it again as the holidays approach. And one day I will share it with my girls...
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