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Review: The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

January 26, 2010

Truly Plaice’s mother died during childbirth, so she and her beautiful sister, Serena Jane, were left to be raised by their father.  Truly suffers from acromegaly, so she’s big for her age and always hungry.  Her dad doesn’t really know what to do with the girls and he’s despondent about his wife’s death.  When he drinks himself to death, Serena Jane is placed with the local preacher and his wife and Truly is sent to live out on a farm with a family that is barely surviving.

Serena Jane is beautiful and popular; Truly is big and outcast.  Even though Truly and Serena Jane see each other at school on a daily basis, their lives are so different, they drift apart.  But some things happen as they become adults that cause them to be bound together in ways they never could have imagined.

I really had a difficult time writing a summary of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker without giving away too much of the story.  This book started out with a bang for me.  I loved Truly and my heart went out to her.  I was frustrated when everyone, including the adults, around her treated her so poorly.

The middle of the book dragged for me, though.  I kept waiting for something to happen and I was a little irritated with Truly.  I wanted her to stand up for herself and take some action.  When Truly discovered an old secret that everyone thought was gone she does take action but in a passive-aggressive manner that I found disturbing.

The ending of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County was fantastic!  There was some foreshadowing, so I wasn’t completely taken by surprise, but I loved the way things were wrapped up.  Overall, I’d say I liked this book a lot, but I didn’t quite love it.

Tiffany Baker will be interviewed on Blog Talk Radio on January 27, 2010 at 1:30PM Eastern time.

Challenges: The Debutant Ball Reading Challenge – The Previous Debs Challenge, What’s in a Name? 3 Challenge

Review copy provided by Hachette Books.   I am an Amazon Associate.
39 Comments leave one →
  1. Kaye permalink
    January 26, 2010 6:48 am

    That’s pretty much how I felt about the book too. With all the hype about it last year, I was expecting more and maybe that led to some of the disillusionment. A good read not a great read.

  2. January 26, 2010 7:17 am

    I really enjoyed this book. I liked how the author ended the chapters with some insight into life.

  3. January 26, 2010 7:32 am

    Well, you saw what I thought of the book when I reviewed it last week. I found Truly’s passive-aggressive behavior disturbing as well. There were just a few things that she did that gave me the creeps. Then there was the simile issue, but possibly that was highlighted by the audio version, I don’t know. You are right though, it wasn’t a bad book. Just won’t end up on my top 10.

    • January 26, 2010 10:59 am

      Sandy: I totally agree. The audio really highlighted the flaws in the text, including the over usage of similes. I definitely noticed that one.

  4. January 26, 2010 8:01 am

    You may have had a hard time writing the review, but it is just fine. I enjoyed reading it.

  5. January 26, 2010 8:06 am

    I will read this book at some point in time. I picked it up at the library a couple of weeks ago, but just not sure I will have time to read it before it is due (I am currently focusing on books on writing, for some odd reason).

    Thanks for the honest review. I will not be surprised if I find the middle to drag – knowing it will be worth persevering until the end.

  6. Nadia permalink
    January 26, 2010 8:16 am

    I have this book on my shelf and am waiting for the right time to read it. I just think it sounds like one of those books that you have to be in the mood to read. I liked your honest review – thanks!

  7. January 26, 2010 8:21 am

    I won this book at a giveaway last week, and am now really looking forward to reading this one!! Good honest review!

  8. January 26, 2010 8:22 am

    I have this on my TBR list, and it sounds really good. Great review!

  9. January 26, 2010 8:42 am

    Great review Kathy. I was one of the ones who really loved this book when I read it in 2009, but then most books about dysfunctional families tend to appeal to me.

  10. January 26, 2010 9:10 am

    Sounds like it needed some better editing!

  11. January 26, 2010 9:50 am

    I haven’t really been drawn to this title, but everyone seems to like it. Thanks for your honest review.

  12. January 26, 2010 10:11 am

    I really want to read this one. I’m so glad you liked it!

  13. January 26, 2010 10:26 am

    I just won this one yesterday, so am glad that I will have a chance to read it as well! Thanks for the review 🙂

  14. January 26, 2010 10:57 am

    I felt very much the same way about this one that you did. It was very meh for me. Baker is clearly a talented writer (she had some really beautiful language that I loved) but this one isn’t quite there. Maybe this first book was too ambitious and she tried to include too much. I sometimes felt that she didn’t really let Truly run the story. Oh well. I’ll still pick up Baker’s next book, that’s for sure.

  15. January 26, 2010 10:58 am

    I remember when this book first came out and how excited I was to read it. I still haven’t and some of my enthusiasm has faded, but I definitely still want to. I am glad you enjoyed it overall, Kathy, even if the middle dragged some.

  16. stacybuckeye permalink
    January 26, 2010 11:00 am

    I’m still on the fence about this one, but I do love a great ending!

  17. January 26, 2010 11:15 am

    I won this one in a bloggy drawing a while back, and I haven’t gotten to it just yet. However, it did make the cut when I was weeding my shelves recently, and I hope to get to it sooner or later. Thanks for the heads up about the slow middle.

  18. January 26, 2010 12:08 pm

    I’ve seen some great reviews of this book…I haven’t read it yet, and will probably be the last one to do so.

  19. January 26, 2010 12:45 pm

    I have been wanting to read this book for a long time. I heard it was a great book club book. Thanks for another great review!

  20. January 26, 2010 12:53 pm

    I’ve seen so many mixed reviews of this one that I will probably skip it. I’m glad you liked the ending though. It would have been a downer to have the book drag and then not end properly.

  21. January 26, 2010 1:04 pm

    I loved this book when I first read and thought it would be among my favourites for 2009. However, thinking back on it, I do feel some of the shine has worn off for me. I’d still pick up her next book in a flash though! (And I didn’t notice the overuse of similes…)

  22. January 26, 2010 1:56 pm

    Thanks for the honest review Kathy. Now if I don’t win it I won’t feel so broken-hearted!

  23. January 26, 2010 3:00 pm

    I actually had this book on my shelves for awhile but then swapped it out for something else. I just never felt like reading it.

  24. January 26, 2010 4:27 pm

    i’ve heard such good things about this one, great review.

  25. January 26, 2010 6:32 pm

    I had heard that this one might be good for bookclubs. What do you think?

  26. January 26, 2010 6:55 pm

    This book has been sitting on my pile for some time. Though I’ve seen a few reviews on it when it was first released, I just haven’t got around to reading it yet. I guess I’m not in a rush to read this book after reading your review.

  27. January 26, 2010 7:58 pm

    It seems a lot of books kind of fizzle in the middle, I’ve noticed.

    I’ve never really felt the urge to pick up this book before, though I’ve always been intrigued by the cover. I hadn’t known much about it, other than people liked it, which I suppose is because other people had a hard time writing a summary, as well. Now, however, after reading your review, I am interested in it. It sounds kind of sad and different and I want to know more. Thanks for this review 🙂

  28. January 26, 2010 9:03 pm

    I *still* haven’t read this book, but I liked this review. I completely understand the feeling of liking, but not totally loving, a book!

  29. January 27, 2010 10:49 am

    I loved this book, and part of what appealed to me was that it was so different. Truly is such a fascinating character, but probably not someone I’d want to hang out with.

  30. January 27, 2010 3:02 pm

    I just got this from the library, thank you for the great review, now I can’t wait to start reading!

  31. January 27, 2010 3:18 pm

    Glad you liked this one Kathy. It was actually one of my favorites.

  32. January 27, 2010 4:02 pm

    I have read mixed reviews about this book, similar to yours. Some liked it and some truly did not. Thanks for the review!

  33. January 28, 2010 1:34 pm

    I really liked this book, but like you, wish Truly would’ve stood up for herself. It definitely has a complex plot that makes it difficult to summarize.

    –Anna

  34. January 28, 2010 4:00 pm

    I just bought this book at the bookstore last week after hearing such good things about it. Then, yesterday afternoon, I spilled red juice all over my copy. It was a hardcover, so it wasn’t totally ruined, but some of the pages are stained and I am not very happy with myself! I am glad you liked the book, and no matter what condition my copy is in, I am sure I will still enjoy it!!

  35. January 29, 2010 9:39 am

    I need to read this soon. I have it in my TBR. Thanks for the review, Kathy! 🙂

  36. January 30, 2010 12:37 am

    I’ve heard a few mixed reviews of this one but I still want to read it!

  37. January 31, 2010 3:49 pm

    I did happen to catch the Tiffany Baker interview on BlogRadio. I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed hearing you, Kathy, ask a good question about the use of herbs. I really enjoyed the show.

  38. February 7, 2010 8:21 pm

    I loved this book because of the unique story. I am glad to read your review as I have been curious of your thoughts on it for some time. Thanks!

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