Sunday, August 31, 2014

MR. TALL, A Novella and Stories by Tony Earley

Mr. Tall is a collection of seven novellas each with its own interesting story of men and women who show that communication is one of many keys to a successful and lasting friendship whether married or not.  

Haunted Castles of the Barrier Islands starts with Darryl and Cheryl visiting their daughter Misti at college and meeting her boyfriend Kyle for the first time her father says in response to the t-shirt he is wearing, “Nice asterisks, Slick.” (Darryl had randomly selected “Slick” from a list of diminutions that included “Buddy,” Chief,” and “Sport.”) Kyle blinked and let go of Darryl’s thumb. He either didn’t know what an asterisk was, or couldn’t believe that Misti’s dad had just called him “Slick.”

Cheryl and Darryl departing from the short visit decide to drive along the coast for sightseeing adventures. Darryl has concerns about their marriage relationship and how long it will last since they no longer own and operate the defunct newspaper, Daily Argus that brought them together as a couple.

Mr. Tall begins as Plutina Scroggs and Charlie Shires marry and as a result causes restrained relationships with her family because she her shared role as a caretaker for her mother will fall upon her sister and father.

Charlie begins working at a railroad company and stays Monday through Friday leaving Plutina alone in their cabin. Charlie warns her never to visit the neighbor over the hill because of town gossip about William Tolliver, who is referred to as Mr. Tall and his willingness to shoot anyone who steps foot on his land. Plutina ignores Charlie’s warning and ends up trapped in Mr. Tall’s barn with no way to escape.

The Cryptozoologist is Rose who fell in love at the tender age of eighteen with her forty-three year old college professor Fieldin whom she married but after years of marriage became ill and passed away. The night Fieldin died Rose saw a creature she believed to be Bigfoot and starts her research on the creature hoping it will return for her to snap a photograph.

Yard Art Cammie Carson is in the middle of a divorce from renowned country singer Keith Carson and having a discussion with her plumber Arlen about a William Edmondson sculpture she owns when Arlen states that the woman who babysat him when he was younger had an Edmondson sculpture in her backyard. While Cammie thinks she will be able to acquire an undiscovered work of art she learns a lesson concerning the ‘haves and have-nots’ of the world.

Have You Seen the Stolen Girl? zeroes in on Mrs. Wilson who lives in the house where Jesse James hid while evading the law in 1875 and every Halloween shares the story with the children who come for tricks or treats. Realizing her story is of no consequence at all to this generation of children she stops giving the candy treats and focuses instead on a ‘stolen girl’ that lived on the same block in her neighborhood trying to remember if she ever saw the little girl.

Just Married is comprised of four vignettes about married couples and their situations.

Jack and the Mad Dog is a surprisingly quirky sequel to the nursery rhyme ‘Jack and Jill’ that went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. This sequel is written with an interesting plot twist that is very enjoyable to read.

Mr. Tall: A Novella and Stories is a good collection of short stories surely to pique the interest of relationships genre book lovers alike. Even though the tales are short in length, they do pack a punch in their individual way. I recommend to avid readers who will enjoy this collection of works and tempted to use as a gifting opportunity.

I received this book free from Little, Brown, and Company Publishing through the Net Galley reviewer program in exchange for an unbiased opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

No comments: