I adore it when a book I’m not totally sure I’ll like turns out to be a book I absolutely love. It doesn’t happen often, but it happened with Tiffany Baker’s The Little Giant of Aberdeen County.
Perhaps it’s because I’m always drawn to the underdog, and Truly Plaice, the novel’s heroine, is definitely beleaguered and plagued at every turn. It isn’t just her horrific size – she’s truly a giant (pun intended) – but also the fact that her life takes a tragic turn at almost every corner. Shunned by the townspeople because of her size, she loses both her parents at an early age, is separated from her sister (the petite and dainty Serena Jane) and shipped off to grow up on an outlying dirt farm.
Yet Truly never wallows in her destiny. With steadfast persistence, she plods onward into a future that takes some suprising twists and turns, and ultimately brings her the contentment, even the true happiness she deserves.
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is filled with characters and situations of mythic proportions, with a magical quality reminiscent of Alice Hoffman. At its heart, it’s about family and the ties that bind us to people, be they blood or not. And it’s about taking what life gives you and making it work.
Tiffany Baker’s first novel is epic, entertaining, and truly marvelous. It was a wonderful way to kick off a summer of reading.