Review: The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

03 Mar

The Little Giant of Aberdeen CountyMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

If I’m not reviewing everything right now, why am I talking about the books that I’m not quite sure what to say about? Maybe because they are the most interesting to think through.

From Hachette’s web site:

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 feminine 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.

If I’m not reviewing everything right now, why am I talking about the books that I’m not quite sure what to say about? Maybe because they are the most interesting to think through.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, even if it was an uncomfortable read at times.

I loved Truly’s character. She was a true misfit, but felt completely real in spite of how unusual she was. The character’s voice really came through in the story, even to me (I rarely notice things like that).

The other characters were… interesting. They should have all felt like caricatures, but they didn’t. The book felt real in spite of how extreme the characters are.

The relationships were fascinating. I was particularly intrigued while comparing Truly’s relationship with her sister Serena Jane, who lives a very different life than Truly; and her relationship with Amelia, who she is raised with.

Family relationships, romantic relationships, friendships– they all get turned inside out over the course of the book.   For me, they were what the book was really about.

I think I’ll recommend this book for one or the other of my book clubs– Little Giant just asks to be talked about.  The discussion questions might or might not be needed, but I’m always glad to have them, just in case.

There are a number of places out there with discussions of Little Giant, or more information. I’ll call out:

Thank you to Hachette Books for providing this book for review!


Posted by on March 3, 2010 in books, reviews


Tags: , , ,

7 responses to “Review: The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

  1. Sue

    March 3, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I keep hearing good things about this book but haven’t read it myself yet. It does sound interesting – thanks for the in-depth review!


    (P.S. I’m on Goodreads, too!)

  2. nomadreader

    March 3, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I’ve missed your reviews! I keep meaning to read this one, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Thanks for helping to keep it on my radar.

  3. bermudaonion (Kathy)

    March 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I do think this would make a great book club pick – there’s so much to talk about. Thanks for the link love!

  4. nanscorner

    March 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    I’ve had this on my TBR list for awhile now but I just haven’t gotten to it yet. I hope to get to it soon.

  5. Anna

    March 5, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I really enjoyed this book. I can understand why it would make you uncomfortable at times, but the characters were so unique I couldn’t put the book down!

  6. Tiffany Baker

    December 16, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I’ll have to read this if for no other reason than that the author shares my name. It’s GOT to be good!


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