It always feels so great when I have high expectations of a book and those expectations are met. I try not to get too excited about certain books because I’m sometimes disappointed (I think I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m picky and tough on my books–I expect a lot!). The Little Giant was every bit as good as I had secretly hoped it would be!
The Little Giant of Aberdeen is the story of Truly Plaice, a woman of giant stature–both in size and in heart. Even from birth, it was clear that Truly was different from other children. Where her sister, Serena Jane, was beautiful, blonde, and fragile, Truly was plain, dark, and substantial. She never fit in at school, her teacher was unkind and unfair to her, when she had no place to go after her parents passed away she was separated and outcast from her sister because she was different. Misunderstood and unloved by many, Truly eventually found her place as her nephew’s caretaker at the rotten Dr. Robert Morgan’s home.
Although the time spent at Robert Morgan’s home was awful, she uncovered centuries-old secrets that would change the lives of several forever. While Robert Morgan had a power over Truly, especially as he claimed to possess the medical secrets of her size, Truly claimed a power of her own and finally reclaimed her own fate instead of allowing others to control her destiny.
I really enjoyed this book and can see it becoming a big hit next year, perhaps even seeing the same success as Water for Elephants. Baker is a natural storyteller and developed the complicated plot of Little Giant with ease. Truly, despite her differences, is a wonderful character–one that I grew to love. Even though I was sometimes frustrated at her tendency to roll over and take the next hit from whoever was dishing, she often showed extreme strength in the difficult situations she found herself in.
This book was one that I had a difficult time putting down and couldn’t wait to pick it back up again. The story is suspenseful from the beginning, there are elements of the fantastical while still remaining realistic, but most of all the book was engaging and a pleasure to read. My one complaint was that the story was a little predictable near the end and wrapped up a little too neatly and quickly. But really, it is a minor complaint. I heartily recommend this book! It has a little bit of everything for everyone–mystery, romance, folklore, and best of all tough sticky debatable questions.
This book will be available January 2009 from Hachette Books. Thanks Miriam, for allowing me to devour this one with so much pleasure!