Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County - Tiffany Baker

Summary:  Meet Truly Plaice -- part behemoth, part witch, part Cinderella.  Born larger than life into a small-minded town, Truly breaks her family into smithereens.  Her mother dies during Truly's birth, and when her father follows shortly afterward, Truly and her dainty sister, Serena Jane, are destined for very different fates.  As Truly grows larger and larger on a rundown farm, she watches lovely Serena Jane become the towns adored May Queen and the obsession of a local boy, Bob Bob Morgan -- the youngest in a line of Aberdeen's doctors, who for generations wove their influence among the town's citizens.  Yet no matter how far apart life propels them, Truly and her sister are forever linked.  And Truly will find her future shaped by Serena Jane's relationships, a centuries-old antique of Dr. Morgan's, and the reality that love cannot be ordered to size.  (Summary from book - Image from blogs.kcls.org)

My Review:  Truly Plaice is a woman of truly remarkable proportions.  Since the day of her birth – the day she killed her mother and broke her father’s heart, Truly has grown at an astonishingly abnormal rate.  When her father dies years later, Truly is outcast by the narrow-minded people of Aberdeen County, and sent to live with a family of dirt-poor farmers while her beloved sister, Serena Jane, lives pampered and admired in town.  Despite these hardships and her increasing estrangement from her sister, Truly manages to carves out a life for herself, makes unlikely friendships, and begins to come to terms with her unusual girth.  Then Serena Jane makes a decision that forces Truly to uproot herself and move back into town -- back to the staring, the jokes, and the cruelty.  It is there that Truly stumbles across a mysterious family secret and she discovers that she has the power to give life...and to take it away.   

The highlight of this book is its characters:  Priscilla, the strict school marm; Robert and Amelia, who share a devastating secret; Amanda Pickerton, with her vicious cruelty; Marcus, the lovelorn school chum; Bobbie, a child too pretty for his own good; Serena Jane, the chosen one who lost everything; and last of all, Truly, a woman whose story is so fascinating, I could not put it down.  Each character was brilliantly constructed to enhance the story, giving it dimension, depth, and emotion with feeling fake or stereotypical.   I loved them and hated them, and just when I thought I had them all figured out, something would happen to flip my emotions entirely.   Without giving too much away about the book, this might make for an interesting book club discussion about intolerance, the ethics of certain medical procedures,  and the bonds of family vs. the bonds of friendship. 
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is one of those books that I read as much as I could, as fast as I could, whenever I could, and then thought about it the rest of the time.  With a bittersweet ending and charming epilogue, this book will stick with me for a while.  

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

For the sensitive reader:  A handful or two of swear words, some mild discussion of sex and sexual development, and references to a character’s homosexuality.
To sum it up:  A long lost secret, a mysterious disappearance, and a woman who learns that happiness comes in all sizes.

2 comments:

Melissa Mc (Gerbera Daisy Diaries) said...

I've got this pegged for a "book challenge" -- it's the first blog review I've read -- now I'm more eager to read it!

Heather said...

Nice review. I have had this on my wish list for a long time now. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

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