The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

by Tiffany Baker
3.9 102


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The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446194228
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 01/25/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 664,350
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Tiffany Baker is the author of The Gilly Salt Sisters and The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, which was a New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. She holds an MFA (creative writing) and a PhD (Victorian Literature) from UC Irvine, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children.

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The Little Giant of Aberdeen County 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 100 reviews.
Twink More than 1 year ago
What a stunning first novel!

Covers are often enough to make me want to read a book. I loved this one. But the opening paragraph cinched the deal...

"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."

We know the ending, but what led to this point?

The entire town is gathered outside her parent's home the day Truly Plaice is born. Her mother had grown so big, bets were being laid on the size of what would surely be a strapping boy. The local doctor Robert Morgan delivers a girl and she is abnormally large. Her mother dies in childbirth. Her father isn't quite sure what to make of her - she is much different from her delicate sister Serena Jane. Truly continues to grow and grow. She is teased and scorned and just never 'fits'. She does make two friends - others who don't fit the mold either - Marcus and Amelia

This Dr. Robert Morgan is the fourth in his family to be the town's doctor. He is descended from Tabitha Dyerson, who was the town's original healer. Her book of cures is mythical in the town and never was found. Without giving away too much of the plot, circumstances lead to inextricable intertwinings between the Morgans and the Plaices.

The book is written from Truly's point of view - detailing her hurt, anger and desires. Although this led me to know Truly very well, it only gave one viewpoint of events and other characters. I would have enjoyed hearing what Marcus, Amelia and Serena Jane actually thought, not Truly's take on things.

The tone of this book is almost magical and fairy tale in feel. Baker has a gift with words, painting vivid descriptions.

"Even his narrow prowling walk told you he was a man of limitless appetite- hungry all the time and yet never filled all the way up."

I started this book and really could not put it down. It's unique and captiviating. Baker is a fresh new voice on the fiction front. I look forward to her second novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took me a very long time to read this. The story itself is very interesting and unique, but I felt like there was no climax and then the story was over. The author does a good job creating the unique characters, unfortunately the story was not as interesting as the characters.
SaraMarie More than 1 year ago
This book is deeper than you realize. After I finished, I would think about it out of the blue. Very good book.
YoyoMitch More than 1 year ago
How does one respond to a novel that tells a story of which the reader is deeply connected, but is not sure why? For any author to spin such a tale is an accomplishment of high merit, for a debut novelist, as is this for Ms. Baker, such an effort is astounding. Well written, told partly from the perspective of the hero but also from the third person, this is a tale of Truly Plaice, whose birth caused the death of her mother and whose life is filled with the wonder of how she caused such pain. Truly is afflicted with a Pituitary Gland that will not stop sending her body the message to grow. She suffers the expected cruelties of being a child whose differences are apparent. She also, in the course of the 38 years the book allows the reader to be a part of her life, loses nearly every person who is close to her, all while getting physically bigger. In the weaving of her life, Truly discovers what healing entails. Sometimes, that miracle is assisted by medicine, sometimes by connection with others but it is always accomplished in a manner that is unique, mysterious and rarely does the result appear as expected. The ways of healing, she learns, are plainly before everyone but we cannot see them because they have become too common and are therefore discounted. Once she has "discovered" a path to healing that has been passed down for generations she also discovers the work required of marking that path for herself and others. To this task she sets her mind to wonderful, mysterious and frightening ends. The art of healing, be it healing of body, mind, Spirit or relationships, has a dark side that must be respected lest the healer becomes arrogant. Truly's sister, Serena Jane, is the polar opposite of her. Serena is lithe, beautiful in every way possible, poised and with an approach to life that reflects her name. After the deaths of their parents, the sisters are separated physically but not disconnected, at least in Truly's mind. That connection informs the remainder of the book. Amazingly, for all the loss she experiences, the book ends well. There is violence in her life, but it is not graphic and there is no sex and I don't recall any off color language. It is interesting that Truly's physically growth is halted by her developing the ability to give herself "away" in the course of healing others. This occurs only after she ceases trying to hold all of the sorrows and pains of those around her. This (presently) over-stressed Reader can identify with this dynamic as he has been "comfort eating" in an effort to counter the stress he has been swallowing. It is so self-defeating to think that one person can hold anyone else's pain in part forever or entirely at all. This defeat takes on added absurdity once one understands the power of community in addressing and healing of pain. The "Community of Sharing" is grounded in the belief that pain shared is divided. Allowing others "into" our sorrow/stress/pain while helping to carry other's like pain makes burdens disappear like fog in sunshine. Truly learns this treasure.
meichle More than 1 year ago
A book with no perfect characters-only real-to-life emotions. For everyone who truly is out-of-the-ordinary. This books shows the flaws of all with the true love we all seek no matter how long it takes to find it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very well written, thought provoking novel by a first time author. Tiffany Baker gives great insight to perception of unattractiveness, and the politics of the small town.
Latinaunicorn More than 1 year ago
This is the antithesis of a the traditional heroine, the characters were rich and well developed, and it is not a feel good formula. I am looking forward to future books.
gmareader More than 1 year ago
I suppose I am different in what I enjoy in a book. Ordinarily I would say that I have a great deal of respect and understanding for the underdog and the "differnet" folks, but this book left me bewildered. The mercy killing turned me off completely. I plugged through the book but really wanted to throw it across the room. I ended up not liking any of the characters and would definitely not recommend it to anyone. Wish I had not wasted my money on it.
Romata More than 1 year ago
"Little Giant" blurs the lines between myth, legend, truth, and reality. The plot takes you around bends and corners where you might not expect to go.
Cinema_Chick More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book and found the characters to be quite interesting. I think that is why I wish the book had a bit more substance as far as the development of the characters and the lives they led. This is a quick read, but it does have some valuable lessons about how we should treat the people around us and find value in their differences.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book. The thing that intrigued me in the beginning to read it, was the character - Robert Morgan. My grandfather's name was Robert Morgan. The cover of the book is an excellent choice too! It is a perfect example of "Truly's" character. This book does not disappoint the reader. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and you cannot help from having a "visual" in your mind of all the characters. I absolutely loved it. It would be an excellent choice for an English class to read and study during a semester versus "Brave New World" and "Moll Flanders." I cannot wait to see what Miss Baker will come up with next!
Slessman More than 1 year ago
Tiffany Baker
Grand Central Publishing ¿Hardcover
Hachette Book Group
ISBN: 978-0-446-19420-4
Reviewer: Annie Slessman

Truly Plaice, the main character of THE LITTLE GIANT OF ABERDEEN COUNTY, tells a story that will keep any reader rushing through their chores to get back to their book.

This is Tiffany Baker¿s first book and one has to wonder where her imagination can lead her in the future. She has managed in her first work to develop a strong, seductive and graceful voice.

Her story revolves around Truly, who is born larger than life and continues to grow to amazing dimensions. When her mother dies shortly after her birth, Truly is left in a household with a beautiful older sister and a drunkard father. She somehow survives the taunting of other children, townsfolk and even her teacher as she grows into adulthood. With each breath she takes, Truly seems to grow even bigger.

Robert Morton, the town¿s only doctor, marries Truly¿s beautiful sister and eventually brings Truly into his home to care for their young son.

The story takes turn after turn leaving Truly to find her way with each change of direction. She becomes interested in the Morton family history, which leads her in a direction that is surprising, entertaining and morally debatable.

For every fiction reader looking for great entertainment, this is your book. You will not be disappointed.

Tiffany Baker lives in Marin County, CA and is currently working on her second novel.
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book; it's well written. The story moves at a reasonable pace, and the characters are unique. There's Truly, the giant, who grows up believing that she killed her mother (who died while birthing her), and believing that she is unworthy of any kindness. Her best friend is Amelia Dyerson, a shy girl who manages to communicate without many spoken words. (How challenging that must have been to write!) Next is Dr. Robert Morgan, the fifth Dr. Robert Morgan the small town has had--each one of them arrogant and mean-spirited. Then there's Marcus Thompson, a man with a brilliant mind, but a smallish, somewhat handicapped body. These are round characters, all with secrets and flaws. Even the minor characters are well written!

As the only "pretty" character is Dr. Morgan, one of the themes is that beauty is only skin deep. How much more difficult life is for the imperfect person.

The novel is written in first-person narrative and third-person omniscient voice, allowing the reader to understand the different thought processes. There's a bit of profanity included. There's a bit of a romance. (It could have been left out.) There's more than a bit of mystery. And there's a tale that demands deeper thought once the final page has been turned.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though some of the subject matter is controversial (euthanasia) I was impressed by the perseverance of the "little giant". She was tenacious in her search for the healing arts passed down from a previous generation. Most of the characters interacted in a predictable way, but that did not deter me. I thoroughly enjoyed the read.
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LucyW More than 1 year ago
Very unique. I liked this book more than I thought I would. The characters felt real, although quirky. There was a lot to think about.
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Pamagd More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. I wasn't sure given the description that I knew what I was getting into but the story is really touching and magnificent. I will absolutely be reading this book again one day.
TNT7498 More than 1 year ago
Loved this book from beginning to end!!! I would love to hear more about Truly. I highly recommend this book.