The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker is an awesome debut novel from this author. She has a beautiful writing style that to me was very reminiscent of Alice Hoffman. This novel kept my attention throughout and it was not one I wanted to put down.
The novel is mainly focused on Truly Plaice who from every description we get is a giant. Truly’s mother dies giving birth to her because she is so big and Truly goes on to live a life of teasing and taunts due to her size. Even worse her sister Serena Jane is a true beauty-everyone is captivated by her. When the girl’s father passes away Serena Jane goes to the reverend’s family and lives a life getting everything she wants while Truly ends up on the Dyerson farm with not much of anything. Thankfully though this is where she meets her lifelong friend Amelia and she also has a friend in Marcus, a school chum so she’s not completely alone.
The story is also about the Morgan family-the men becoming the doctors in Aberdeen. The first Morgan doctor the book talks about marries the local witch woman so there is also that element threaded through the novel and I loved that. Her name was Tabitha and legend had it that she had left a Shadow Book that had all her remedies and spells in it but nobody had ever been able to find it. Later in history, in Truly’s time, there is Bob Bob Morgan who is infatuated with Truly’s sister Serena Jane until he gets his way with her and is no longer interested. She becomes pregnant though and he is forced to marry her and they have a son they call Bobbie. They move away and there are many years that Truly does not see Serena Jane. Finally the family comes home to Aberdeen only to have Serena Jane leave. She leaves a note for, what Truly comes to call him-Robert Morgan, to go get Truly and have her take care of him and Bobbie.
So begins the next chapter in the novel. I think Serena Jane wanted her son protected and felt that Truly would do it. She does take care of Bobbie but Bobbie is a bit different. He’s definitely not a chip off the old Morgan block. Where Truly is masculine in her features, Bobbie is feminine-not a good combination with a father like Robert Morgan. Eventually things explode and the family is torn apart by many things.
The magical part of the story I really enjoyed. Truly seems to have a knack for the old ways and begins to experiment on herself with some remedies. At the same time Robert Morgan finally convinces her to have some tests done to see what’s wrong with her and we are enlightened on that situation. For him, I think she was someone he could bully and make himself feel powerful over. Truly continues to dabble and at times takes her experiments to even bigger and scarier places. Throughout the novel we feel Truly’s need for revenge on those who had always tormented her.
The book ends with secrets being revealed that threaten to tumble the already unsteady bonds that are there between those left-Truly, Bobbie, Amelia and Marcus. The book ends on a good note although there were some things I still would have liked to have known before I turned that last page. I also would have liked to know exactly how big Truly was. We never know her true weight and all we’re told is that she is taller than most men. For that reason I think I had a hard time picturing her clearly in my mind. Mostly when I think of Truly I picture a good soul. I don’t see an outer image at all if that makes sense. All in all though I was very satisfied with the ending.
This novel left me feeling I had read a really good book. I’ve been lucky again lately with the many good selections I’ve read and Little Giant is another that will be one of my favorites this year. I loved it. The author really draws you into Truly’s life. So much so that you feel her hurts and sorrows-you can feel how confused she is as to why she is like she is. She is the kind of character you follow closely behind in the book seeing what will happen in her life next. You so want the best for her because she deserves it. I also really loved Bobbie. Again the author pulls you into his life. He’s different from the folks in Aberdeen and you feel sorry for him because things aren’t always easy for him. The ending of this book left me wanting it to go on if only to find out a few things I wanted to know and also to see what the future held for everyone left.
My good friend Toni and I also had some really great book chats on this book so for our thoughts while reading the novel this past week, you can take a peek at these links for more…Toni’s here, here, here, here and mine here, here, here, here, and here. It was fun to chat about this book and I think it would make a really great book club selection. There is a lot that goes on in this novel that would spark many discussions.