The Little Giant Of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker- 352 pages
When Truly Plaice's mother was pregnant, the town of Aberdeen joined together in betting how record breakingly 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 feminine 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.
My Review: 4 stars
Truly Plaice, the protagonist of this novel, is truly a giantess from a small town. I just love her name!! The author writes lyrically and uses great imagery while defining this idyllic town and the folklore that encompasses it. A parallel story is woven wonderfully throughout the book that reveals historical information about the town “medicine woman” and her relationship with the town doctor whose descendents play an integral part of Truly’s life. At times this book read like a fable or tall tale yet the story has many deep messages about friendships, inner vs. outer beauty and what a family really means. I’ll definitely read more from this author.
Quotes I liked:
-“She never understood that love -- especially that of a child -- was the most necessary weight you can endure in life, even if it hurts, even if it tugs bags under the skin of your eyes. Without it, the soul skitters to the edge of the world and teeters there, confused.”
-“I was sixteen and just waking up to the peculiar rules of love - how what's left unsaid between two people can be a far more complicated language than what's written on the page.”
- “So often, we believe we are alone in the privacy of our fantasies, but that is a delusion as well - and perhaps the most dangerous kind. For in letting ourselves forget about the common threads of our innermost wishes, we erode our foundations and lose the keystone of our souls.”
- “Of course, this memory makes me sorrowful now, for it anyone ever knew the shape of me, it was Amelia - and not just the outer lines of me, either, but all my innards as well. She was as necessary as the sun to me. She was the quiet heat that shimmered inside my shadow and made it live, and without her, I am a little darker.”
Tags: Fiction, 2010, Magical Realism
Labels: 2010, Fiction, Magical Realism