Monday, June 28, 2010

Review #72: The Little Giant of Aberdeen County Tiffany Baker

Title: The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
Author: Tiffany Baker
Genre: Fiction
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Hachette)
ISBN: 978-0-446-19422-8
Price/Pages: $13.99/341

My Description:

Truly Place is told she is different; a giant, larger than life. Born and raised in a small rural town, she has no choice but to live through her pain; physically as she grows more each day, and emotionally, as she gets belittled from those around her.
She knows no other way. She was born big, too big, they say, causing her mother to die in childbirth.
Her sister, Serena Jane, is quite the opposite; delicate,
beautiful and the apple of everyone's eye.

Truly, Serena and their father fumble through the years after their mother dies. Unsure of how to raise two girls, he seeks help from neighbors. Unfortuntaely not all are open to caring for Truly. The girls are forced to split up. Serena to the Reverend Pickerton's house, Truly to the Dyersons'. Truly makes a home with their daughter, Amelia, strange and silent in her own way and they forge a bond that will last into their adult years.

A strong central character along side the girls in Robert "Bob Bob" Morgan, the young son of a family of local doctors. Obsessed with Serena, he would do anything to have her. After a shocking incident, Robert, Truly, Amelia and Serena are forever linked.

The story is told in Truly's voice and in three parts. Over the course of many years we see Truly and her family and friends battle with these secrets and demons.

My Review:

This book has so many layers to it it is hard for me to put in words what I really feel about it. It's also hard to explain what happens in the book without giving too much of it away. I went back and forth in my enjoyment in this book. It started out a bit slow for me and heavy. It took me awhile to really get into the mind of Truly. I felt I did about half way through.

Truly is a complicated character. Her voice is supremely honest, emotional, and raw. But also very empty at times and I think that's the part I had the hardest with. I was trying to really get to the heart of her and feel for her but then I realized that she really was just a empty shell at times. Her weight, though large, didn't fill the gaps inside.

I didn't want to save her, so much, but I did want her to find peace and understanding and kindness. So much happens to her and around her that you find yourself breathing through it all with her and hoping that calm will come.

Tiffany Baker has written a very layered, well written first novel. It had elements of the south; the hard work, the tough times, the poverty, the discrimination and also the hope.
Throughout the novel you also get a little bit of witchcraft and local myth and storytelling.

Rating: 4 stars/6 stars
I would recommend this novel for, once again, lovers of serious fiction. It's not an easy read. It's not a fun, happy read though I will say, the ending did bring me joy. But this one is certainly raw; the characters are flawed, the writing is emotional, the setting is desolate and cold at times.

Book Club Rating:
If you have a club out there who reads novels like Fried Green Tomatoes (Fannie Flagg) or Bastard out of Carolina (Dorothy Allison), this would be a good pick for you.

Thank you to Jessica at Newman Communications for sending me a copy to read and review.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Jenny said...

I'm reading this one soon! Sounds sort of intense... but it does sound like something I'll like.

StephTheBookworm said...

This sounds like quite the book which is why it's been in my "must read ASAP pile" for awhile now. Your review has intrigued me even more!

Melissa said...

I absolutely loved this. LOVED. THIS. One of my favorite reads of last year.

You're right that there are many layers to this one - and I agree that it would be perfect for a book club.

Marce said...

I have considered this one for awhile, I think I will enjoy it, need to add it to the Wishlist.

Good review.

Unknown said...

Great review! I just read this one summed it up really well :-)

Stacy at The Novel Life said...

What a great review. I love Southern Fiction and when I get a chance I may just have to pick this one up. I so adored Fried Green Tomatoes! Thank you for a lovely review.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

thanks for your review Michelle. I really liked this book when I read it --very different (in a good way).

Tales of Whimsy said...

Awesome review.

BTW, you need to see this:

Jessica said...

This book sounds very interesting. And, of course, your review is wonderful! I like when a book has many layers just waiting to be uncovered.

Marie Cloutier said...

I was surprised by how much I liked this book; when I started reading it I was expecting it to be light women's fiction and it definitely was more literary. It ended up being one of my favorites last year- and a favorite surprise!

Lisa said...

Truly just had so much sadness in her life. I just wished she would have been able to recognize how lucky she was to have two good friends and been able to show Bobbie love sooner.