Title: The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
Author: Tiffany Baker
Release Date: January 8, 2009
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Truly Plaice is a giant with a hard of gold. Growing up in the small town of Aberdeen wasn’t easy – adults didn’t know what to do with her and children teased her for her unnatural girth. It didn’t help that her sister, Serena Jane, was beautiful, and compared to her, Truly was all the more strange and horrifying. As Truly grows, she begins to understand her place in the world and realize everything isn’t as bad as it seems.
I’ve been hearing great things about The Little Giant of Aberdeen County since its release, but I wasn’t entirely sure it was for me. While the subject seemed interesting, it seemed like a narrative full of pain, and I didn’t want to be sad while reading it. I’m glad to say that The Little Giant of Aberdeen County was a rewarding novel that was both hopeful and uplifting.
Truly was a well-written and sympathetic character. The reader can’t help but really feel for her as she is faced with one hardship after another. Truth be told, this is a difficult book to read at times – there is a lot of pain and death in this book. But Baker does a wonderful job making sure it is never dark or full of despair. The book really centers around death in a lot of ways; Baker explores the subject fully in this novel and tries to examine the reason people die, as well as what they live for.
Admittedly, I did have some issues with the writing of this novel. Specifically, the book is narrated by Truly in first person, which works well. The reader really gets a glimpse inside her head, and gets to know her that much better because the novel is told from her point of view. But at the same time, she is omniscient – she narrates events that she isn’t present for and has no knowledge of. It’s a little jarring, though I can’t say this novel would have worked better told in the third person because I really did enjoy getting into Truly’s mind.
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is a rewarding novel about the importance of inner beauty, rather than focusing on physical features. Truly is so beautiful on the inside that the reader forgets what she looks like on the outside. Unfortunately, we are pulled back into reality by the reactions of the many of the book’s characters to her; they don’t take the time to get to know her like the reader does. It’s worth spending that time with Truly, to understand her and the beauty of this novel.