The Little Giant of Aberdeen County: A Novel
By Tiffany Baker
Born in a small town, Truly was the polar opposite of her sister Serena Jane. While Serena Jane was blond, petite, porcelain-skinned, and wore cute little dresses, Truly was a brunette so large that she wore men’s clothing and handmade sack-like dresses. And she kept growing bigger.
Truly had a hard life. Her mom died in childbirth. After her father passed away, she went to live with a poor family on the outskirts of town while her sister lived with a middle-class family where she was pampered. Life went on, with Serena Jane marrying the man who became the town doctor, Dr. Robert Morgan. However, Serena Jane had an unhappy marriage and ran away. Her husband, in turn, blackmailed Truly into living with him to keep house and raise his son. (Can you tell that the 10-15 years was hard to condense?)
In this midst of this new life, Truly was forced to deal with issues about her body, health, and self-esteem. In the midst of this, she inadvertently discovered the Morgan family legend: the book of herbs and remedies written by the family witch many years ago. The book was not actually a book but a quilt that has been in the family for generations.
Review: This was a particularly difficult book to review, and because of that, I’m not going to assign a letter grade for the book at the end of the post.
My hardcover edition was only 340 pages, and I’d say that I didn’t become really interested into the story until more than a quarter of the way through it, around page 80-100. I usually give up on books before that point if I’m not interested, but this time, I kept reading. I’m not quite sure why the story didn’t grab me – it could have been the writing; it could have been the characters, not exactly people I’d relate to; it could have been the mood, which wasn’t exactly uplifting. I spent a good chunk of the book feeling sorry for Truly and annoyed at her for not leaving Morgan for treating her badly.
Even once I got past the first 100 pages, I wouldn’t say that this was a book that I was truly engaged in. I could have put it down and been just fine. Ultimately, I don’t think this book was worth the effort.
Recommendation: The book wasn’t bad, and I don’t want it to come off as such. I just think that something about it… it just wasn’t my cup of tea. It was a lot of work to get into, so I’d probably advise that you skip this one.