Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

Here is a summary of the book from the Goodreads website:

When Truly Plaice's mother was pregnant, the town of Aberdeen joined together in betting how recordbreakingly huge the baby boy would ultimately be. The girl who proved to be Truly paid the price of her enormity; her father blamed her for her mother's death in childbirth, and was totally ill equipped to raise either this giant child or her polar opposite sister Serena Jane, the epitome of femine perfection. When he, too, relinquished his increasingly tenuous grip on life, Truly and Serena Jane are separated--Serena Jane to live a life of privilege as the future May Queen and Truly to live on the outskirts of town on the farm of the town sadsack, the subject of constant abuse and humiliation at the hands of her peers.

Serena Jane's beauty proves to be her greatest blessing and her biggest curse, for it makes her the obsession of classmate Bob Bob Morgan, the youngest in a line of Robert Morgans who have been doctors in Aberdeen for generations. Though they have long been the pillars of the community, the earliest Robert Morgan married the town witch, Tabitha Dyerson, and the location of her fabled shadow book--containing mysterious secrets for healing and darker powers--has been the subject of town gossip ever since. Bob Bob Morgan, one of Truly's biggest tormentors, does the unthinkable to claim the prize of Serena Jane, and changes the destiny of all Aberdeen from there on.

When Serena Jane flees town and a loveless marriage to Bob Bob, it is Truly who must become the woman of a house that she did not choose and mother to her eight-year-old nephew Bobbie. Truly's brother-in-law is relentless and brutal; he criticizes her physique and the limitations of her health as a result, and degrades her more than any one human could bear. It is only when Truly finds her calling--the ability to heal illness with herbs and naturopathic techniques--hidden within the folds of Robert Morgan's family quilt, that she begins to regain control over her life and herself. Unearthed family secrets, however, will lead to the kind of betrayal that eventually break the Morgan family apart forever, but Truly's reckoning with her own demons allows for both an uprooting of Aberdeen County, and the possibility of love in unexpected places.

My Review:
Baker created a beautiful story for us about young Truly, who is born as an outcast and looked down upon her entire life.  When her mother dies giving birth to Truly, the entire town seems to blame the girl for her existence.

Life is hard for Truly, having to deal with her enormous difficulties without a mother, but at least she has her older sister Serena Jane to help her through some of it.  Disaster will strike their family once again, sending the girls in different directions. Although they will be living in the same town, circumstances will keep them apart, causing a rift between their relationship.

Truly becomes the butt of many jokes as she continues growing throughout her life.  When she does not get any taller her body just grows in other directions.  Her proportions are so unreal she does not have any choice but to have clothing specially tailored for her.   Through all of Truly's trials and tribulations she longs for Serena Jane to be a part of her life again.  Remembering Serena Jane's dreams and goals she knows their relationship is in the past as Serena Jane will be leaving this small town the first chance she gets.
As hard as Truly's life was, she never really had a pity party for herself.  She accepted the hand that life dealt her and embraced the things in life that gave her happiness.  One day she stumbles upon a secret that the whole town considered a myth.  This secret made people look upon her more favorable giving her a higher standing within the community.

A few of the ladies in my book club thought this book had a dark theme to it, so they didn't enjoy it as much as I did.  With themes of secrets, family, and forgiveness, you may love this book also.  I highly recommend this novel for either personal leisure or as a book club discussion.

My Rating:  5/5

Disclosure:  This book is from my personal library and I read it for my own entertainment and as a book club discussion.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

This book got a lot of love when it first came out so I was excited to read it. I'm like other members of your book club - I liked it but didn't love it the way you did.