Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day Fifty-Six: "The Unripe Heart" by Max Steele


In the heat of the summer of 1932, a scared little boy is asked to retrieve a newspaper that had been thrown onto the roof of his porch. Convinced, irrationally it seems, that his mother is trying to kill him when his mother joins him on the roof, he crawls back into the house through the window and locks his mother out.

As he hides across the street and watches the day pass, hears people talk about his mom and her antics, he begins to worry, about himself, his fate when he returns, but also, about his mom. The reader understands that she has been sick and can also see how it has affected her young son. It's as if he is trying to escape his home for more than the simple reason he expresses.

This story was sweet but its inclusion in the Best of the South collection of New Stories from the South, Best of the Second Decade is a bit of a surprise to me. It was an easy and fun read but....the Best? I'm not sold but I'm also not willing to give up on Steele. This story was good enough at least.

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