Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?

Holt May 2023. 416p. ISBN 9781250815309. $27.99. F
DEBUT Accepting and loving oneself can be very difficult when you grow up in the public eye. This is true of Elise St. John, one of three sisters who have been rich and famous since birth because of their parents’ talents. Now she’s been nominated for an Oscar that could expand her successful acting career, but she’s not sure if that’s what she wants. To complicate matters, her neighbor and friend Kitty Karr, a retired successful movie and TV star and writer, has died and left Elise and her sisters her multimillion-dollar estate. No one can figure out why an aging white actress would bestow her immense inheritance on three Black girls, but Kitty has left Elise in charge of settling her estate. In the process, Elise discovers something about Kitty that she didn’t know and finds herself as well. This story takes place in two different eras and goes back and forth between the two.
VERDICT Paul’s novel highlights the burden and loss of racism by focusing on the color line and passing.
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