I bought this book as it was suggested to me for its likelihood to Haruf's novels. In reality there is not much in common between Haruf's Holt and Baker's Aberdeen: they are both farmlands where life is quite simple and people know everything about each other, but I think the similarities end there.
The little giant of Aberdeen County is a good read, but t cannot compare to my beloved Haruf's writing style.
The little giant is a book about being different and yet finding your own place in the world; it is a book about sorrow and love and all that there is in between. A book about people good by nature and nasty by nature and also about good people doing nasty things to help nasty people and to survive. It is a book about being like salt and pepper and yet being soul mates.
The main character in the novel, the "little giant" is Truly, a girl who, from birth, has not had an easy life. She is big, extremely big, her mum died giving birth to her, her dad is an alchy who doesn't want her to be checked over by a doctor, she has a sister who is pretty and minute and almost perfect.
And yet Truly survives and more than that, she finds her own space in the ugliness of the world she lives in, she finds friendship, affection, love, she is strong without knowing it, She comes out scarred but all in one piece.
The little giant is a story of simple life but complicated relationships, about farming world and also the ugliness of being considered "different". It is a book that leaves you a bitter sweet taste in the mouth.
it is not Holt, but it is a very pleasant, deep, mind filling novel.
Overall rating: 6.5 Plot: 6.5 Writing style: 6.5 Cover: 6
Title:The little giant of Aberdeen County
Author: Tiffany Baker
Publication year: 2009
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
Tiffany Baker is the New York Times bestselling author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. She lives outside San Francisco with her husband, three children, and tiny hyperactive dog.