The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
Tiffany Baker (Adult Fiction)
The day I laid Robert Morgan to rest was remarkable for two reasons. First, even though it was August, the sky overhead was as rough and cold as a January lake; and second, it was the day I started to shrink.
Truly Plaice was destined to be a big girl. During her mother’s pregnancy, the town began to take bets as to what her final weight would be upon delivery. Turns out, nobody in that town won. No one came close. Her school teacher called her a “little giant” and Truly became known for her massive size and build. Where her sister, Serena Jane, was wispy and beautiful, Truly countered with her girth and homeliness. But with so many things, Truly simply accepted this genetic disparity as fact and actually said the difference between the two was quite easy, “The reason the two of us were as opposite as sewage and spring water, I thought, was that pretty can’t exist without ugly.” So, through her own eyes, Truly shares her story of wickedness and witchcraft, of poverty and prosperity, of life and death, and of a very big woman in a very small town.
Throughout this book, I wasn’t sure whether to feel pity or pride for Truly. Here is a woman who has wholly resigned herself to her situation and although she feels the occasional stab of pity, jealousy, or regret, her unconditional surrender to her circumstances is both admirable and heartbreaking. Her friend Amelia may have summed up Truly’s attitude perfectly one day when they were both walking home from school, “Things are what they are. You can’t change them.” Perhaps Truly realized this early on in life and found that she’d be much happier by choosing resignation over resistance.
Tiffany Baker does a nice job at keeping her story entertaining and engrossing by throwing in several plot turns and twists. Although there is a lot going on with multiple characters and their individual story lines, Truly proves to be a capable storyteller and manages to keep everything orderly and fluid. However, despite an engaging story and a unique main character, there was a big plot hole that kept my rating at a four versus a five. I found that Truly’s need for a cure and her want of one were at constant odds. The reasons she stated for not pursuing treatment are legitimate to her circumstances at the time save one…money. You can’t claim poverty as an excuse when you constantly remind the reader that you have a suitcase full of money hidden under your bed. This was clearly frustrating for me, but not enough to override the valuable lessons contained within The Little Giant of Aberdeen County: love the skin you’re in, be courageous in accepting that which you cannot change, and never think that you are so full that there is not enough room to let anyone else in.
*Book cover image attributed to www.amazon.com
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