There are some short story writers who are so skilful I grin from ear to ear when I see they’ve published something new. Vestal McIntyre became one of them after I read his stunning debut – a collection of stories titled You Are Not The One. So when I saw he’d published this stand alone story Almost Tall I quickly bought it for my Kindle.
Dinah is an adolescent girl who travels from a provincial town in the American Midwest to her uncle’s New York City penthouse in order to attend a summer ballet school. Since her uncle Rick is often away at his job she is mostly left in the care of Rick’s partner Eddie – a monstrous socialite and pillow designer. Although naïve, she’s naturally suspicious and critical of the opinions and practices the colourful characters she meets in the city. She’s someone who has a great amount of desire but doesn’t quite know what she really wants. McIntyre is brilliant at portraying characters who stumble through social circles learning what they really want and, more importantly, what they really don’t want through careful observation and tentative interactions. His novel Lake Overturn was one of my favourite books of 2010. Almost Tall is an excellent short story particularly in the way it portrays Eddie’s shallow self-centeredness and Dinah’s friend Sunny with her burgeoning sexuality. It’s published by DailyLit who have the commendable and fantastic mission of delivering quality short stories to busy people.