The death of White movie star, Kitty Karr Tate, and her bequest of a multimillion-dollar estate to three Black sisters, raises questions that threaten to unravel family ties, reveal debts owed, and expose debatable crimes that could tear apart the all-American fabric of the St. John sisters. As Elise delves deeper into Kitty’s past, she also confronts the gifts and burdens of her own choices in this sprawling page-turner set in Hollywood that explores family, race, gender, and the choices women make to break free.
Book review of Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?
Did You Hear About Kitty Karr? is a captivating story that explores the complexities of race and power in America. Crystal Smith Paul’s use of flashbacks in the narrative keeps the reader engaged and invested in the story from start to finish. This book delves into one of the darkest periods in American history, one that some people would like to see return. Smith Paul does not shy away from the harsh realities of this time, and her fictional tale sheds light on the truth that needs to be told. Through Kitty Karr’s story, the author exposes the societal pressures and norms that forced people to hide their true identity to succeed.
The book’s main character, Kitty Karr, is a fascinating woman who faces the difficult decision of whether to hide her past to achieve success and acceptance. Smith Paul does an excellent job of bringing out the conflict within Kitty, and readers will find themselves wondering if she made the right decisions. However, I did not care for the Blair House storyline, as it felt like it added too many characters to keep track of, taking away from Kitty’s individual struggles.
The historical aspects of the story are the most compelling, and the author’s portrayal of the strength and resilience of women is awe-inspiring. The story highlights the upsides and downsides of power and privilege and asks the reader to consider what they are willing to do to balance the scales. The nuanced approach to the story is enlightening, and the themes of race, power, and identity make it a thought-provoking read.
However, the book has its flaws. The character of Elise, Kitty’s neighbor and a longtime family friend, felt underdeveloped compared to the dynamic Kitty. Elise’s storyline is interwoven with Kitty’s, but her character is unremarkable and feels like she mostly mopes around the family compound. Additionally, the characters of Giovanni and Noele did not add anything significant to the story.
One thing that bothered me about the book was the premise of the African-American billionaire family that all smoked pot. It felt like a stereotype that did not add anything to the story. Furthermore, the idea of a mother giving up her daughter to live as a white person is hard to believe. The decision to give up family for the sake of being white seems unrealistic, and it is hard to imagine Kitty not being discovered as African-American once she became famous, especially in the internet age.
Overall, Did You Hear About Kitty Karr? is an excellent book that explores important themes of race, identity, and power. The historical elements of the story are captivating, and the author does a fantastic job of weaving a multigenerational tale. The character of Kitty is compelling, and her struggles will keep readers engaged. While the book has its flaws, it is still a thought-provoking read that encourages dialogue and reflection on the issues that still plague society today.
|Publisher : Henry Holt and Co. (May 2, 2023)|
Language : English
Hardcover : 416 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250815304
ISBN-13 : 978-1250815309
Item Weight : 10.6 ounces
Dimensions : 6.45 x 1.35 x 9.55 inches