BookBrowse Reviews The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis

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The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt

A Novel

by Andrea Bobotis

The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis X
The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis
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    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2019, 320 pages

    Jul 2019, 320 pages


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About this Book



In this enthralling debut novel, a woman reckons with her turbulent childhood in the Jim Crow South as she takes inventory of the family estate.

Of the 20 members who reviewed Andrea Bobotis' The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt for BookBrowse's First Impressions Program, 19 gave it a 4+ rating, for an overall average of 4.4 out of 5.

What it's about:
May 1989: Miss Judith Kratt of Bound, South Carolina, begins an inventory of possessions on the old Kratt estate. At 75 years, it is time for Judith to review, reassess and reassign. And, we are privileged to overhear memories (Bev C). This story starts simply, relating Judith's life presently when she is in her 70s. Then it reverts to her life as a 15 year old. The story continues as it weaves back and forth between these 2 time periods, and unravels the family secrets related to one critical day (Donna W). We are told of the rise and fall from prominence of the Kratt family. There is love, loss, racial tension, jealousy and revenge. While the Kratts are well known, they are not all well liked (Patricia W). A tragic event during the early 1930s changes Judith and her family forever. As she makes her lists in 1989, her past is gradually revealed and she is able to see the effect that her attitudes as a child had on her life and the lives of the people around her. (Susan R).

Readers appreciated the authentic and vivid Southern setting
In the tradition of William Faulkner, Andrea Bobotis has succeeded in her debut novel, The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt, in telling the secrets of a once prominent Southern family in a clear and concise Southern voice that is lilting yet packs a punch when you least expect it (Diane T). I could almost hear Judith's southern accent in my ear. I really liked her character (Jane E). I have always had an interest in books based in the South and Southern traditions…there is much to discuss here and compare to the changes in race relations today (Carol P). Bobotis spins a tale deeply familiar to fellow Southerners. By tackling, racism, friendship, family dynamics, and forbidden love, Bobotis creates a complicated saga that leaves readers both sad and hopeful (Melissa S).

Several praised the novel's complex, flawed characters.
This Southern novel is filled with deeply drawn characters who see the world, and the items that fill it, from vastly different perspectives. (Susan L). Bound, South Carolina provides not only a backdrop for a cast of diverse and flawed characters, but is instrumental in their development. I expected a genteel southern story, but instead got a tale of ambition, greed, lies, racism and the destruction of a family (Amy E). It's one of those books where the characters stay with you after the book is finished (Lucy S).

But some found the story hard to follow:
Things were happening all the time to keep me interested, but I found it somewhat confusing as the chapters flipped from present to past and back, and elements of the ending of the book did not ring true for me (Connie L). I found the story contrived and loosely put together by confusing attempts to keep the reader guessing…The author's credentials are impressive, but somehow she did not put together storylines well (Mary S).

Overall, readers loved the novel:
This is classic Southern fiction at its best! Quirky characters, interesting plot-line, and great writing. I loved the device of using objects to propel the story forward. (Nikki M) A list of possessions becomes a list of memories and secrets kept for 60 years…I thoroughly enjoyed traveling through time with each tray, figurine, book and piece of furniture (Susan S). As the women in this tale evolve, so too do their treasures. Suspenseful. Thought-provoking at every turn of the page. Remarkable (Carmel B).

Andrea Bobotis is an author to watch, and The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt is recommended reading:
This is a nice addition to southern genre if you want to read something new and different (Gretchen M). I would recommend this beautifully written debut to lovers of Southern Fiction (Joni G), and I look forward to more books by this author (Marybeth T). The writing is exquisite…I wish the author much success (Molly K).

This review first ran in the October 2, 2019 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

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