(I’m backtracking on some of the book reviews I did earlier but not on this blog.) You’ve got to love a great book title. I sometimes wonder if books we (or at least I) think of as iconic where thought to have great titles when the first came out. Did people think “To Kill a Mockingbird” was a great title in 1960 or was it just another title until they found out how great the book was? There are some books where you just know the title rocked from the beginning. I mean, come on, “Lord of the Rings” is a great title and I’m not even a fan.
In my humble opinion “The Little Giant of Aberdeen County” is a great title. And the book cover just got me. I love good cover art. There are books where the cover art just seems to be an afterthought and then there are books that just suck you in. I have found entire series off the cover of just one of the books. “The Little Giant of Aberdeen County” had on of those covers. I saw the cover on a book blog I was reading and just had to find out more about the book itself.
So, I went into this book predisposed to love it. This is the story of Truly, massive at birth and growing larger every day we follow her through her life in Aberdeen, a small town in New York. Truly’s mother dies giving birth to her, something for which her father has never quite forgiven her. Her older sister Serena Jane is her polar opposite petite, beautiful, and delicate. When their father too dies they are each sent to live drastically different lives. Serena Jane one of apparent privilege and Truly one of deprivation.
Along the way the long line of town doctors all named Robert Morgan play and important role in both Truly and Serena Jane’s life. We hear of the Morgan’s ancestor Tabitha, the town witch and the legend of her shadow book. The book of potions and cures hidden these many years from the long line of Robert Morgans who looked for them.
As I said everything was set for me to love this book yet when I started I had a very hard time getting into the book. I think I was expecting it to be a light and airy story following Truly’s life. I had just finished a magical light and lovely story and thought this would follow in it’s footsteps. This wasn’t that book
What is was was a beautifully told tale of a girl living through the obstacles life has thrown at her with such grace it’s heartbreaking. After the first few chapters I was completely involved in Truly’s life and struggle. I was fully invested in what became of her and of those she loved and who love her. And the book had it’s own magic as Truly discovers her place in the world and that there are those around her who truly love her.
I’m so glad I didn’t give up on this book. There was so much to love. It has a depth and humanity it was a joy to read. This is Tiffany Baker’s first book and I really hope she’s working on another. I want to read more of what this woman creates.