Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

Image from Goodreads

Title: The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
Author: Tiffany Baker
First Published: January 2010
Published By: Grand Central Publishing
Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Adult Fiction
Read: March 20 2015
Rating: 2.5/5

Truly was born big. So big in fact that her mother died giving birth to her. As the years went on she got bigger and bigger. Not like any other person, but at an alarming rate. Even well into adulthood she continued to grow. This made her a target for mockery in her small community of Aberdeen County, especially when being compared to her beautiful and perfect sister Serena Jane. Readers follow Truly from birth as she chronicles the townspeople around her. After the death of her father she is sent to live with a family called the Dyerson’s on their dilapidated farm meanwhile Serena Jane is taken in by a prominent family. A local legend about a woman who was said to be a witch connects the Dyerson family with that of the Morgan’s who come from a long line of doctors. Tiffany Baker’s debut is a book of sadness and tragedy with some mystery thrown in.

Had I went into a bookstore and read the description of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, I know I wouldn’t have bought it. There just wasn’t anything that jumped out at me. However because it was recommended to me by a friend, I picked it up and gave it a try. After reading the reviews on the front and back covers I expected to be enchanted with magic realism. But in reality I wasn’t enchanted at all and as for the magic realism there wasn’t any that I could find. 

In my opinion Truly was just a larger than average person. There wasn’t anything magical about her she was just large. I liked the idea that we followed her life beginning in the 1950’s up to present day but it didn’t portray that very strongly. There is mention of the war in Vietnam due to it playing a part in the life of one of her only friends, but there wasn’t many more cultural references to put us in each specific time period. There were times throughout this book that my interest would peak, thinking that something exciting would happen but nothing ever shocked me and the buildup would just fizzle out. 

Sure I felt sorry for Truly, as the way she was treated was terrible. But to be honest I didn’t particularly like her character. When I read a book that is told from a single persons point of view I want to be able to connect with the character. In this case, I just didn’t, nor did I like any of the other characters very much. 

Normally when I finish a book I like to write up my thoughts on it right away, that way It is still fresh in my mind. The reason I didn’t do this for The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is because I didn’t really know what to say and needed to let it sink in for a couple of days. I had hoped that time would bring out some points that stuck with me. However this only left me more confused. Did I miss something? Did it go over my head? I’m still not sure, but I do know that this wasn’t the book for me.

One thing I would like to add is that The Little Giant of Aberdeen county would make for an interesting debate regarding assisted suicide or mercy killing, so it may be suitable for a book club. 

That being said, I do think that Tiffany Baker is a talented writer and I intend to read another of her other novels, titled The Gilly Salt Sisters. Hopefully that story will interest and captivate me more than this one did.

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