Ever read a book that you could've written?
Well, you could've written it if a ghost writer climbed into your brain and captured the essence of who you are and what you think and how the pictures form and never procrastinated and had a really great vocabularly.
Because if you've ever read that book, then you'd know how I felt when I read "The Little Giant of Aberdeen County" this weekend. I checked it out on a whim because it's a 7-day book and I loved the title and cover design and because, as a student of Fred Chapell, I love the magic realism of folk story telling. The content did not disappoint.
Truly Plaice is a larger-than-life figure in a small, sleepy town that neither encourages or accepts differences. Despite a long string of personal tragedies (Truly's mother died while giving birth to her) and a world that contained no respite, Truly develops into a character of strength (physical and emotional) who creates a world for herself by relying on her own wits and willpower.
I could give away the story -- tell you about her perfect sister who the town idolizes or about her drunkard father or about how her body grows and grows and grows ... until it doesn't -- but I want you to read it. Now. Go get this book and devour it in a few sittings like I did. Feast on sentences like "Robert Morgan never liked a thing in his life unless he got to take the first bite out of it, and he never let a thing go, either, until it was chewed all the way down to skin and bone."
I had moments where I was catapulted out of the story by the narrative voice. Truly is our fascinating narrator, but she is also omnipresent. She tells us the story of her own childhood in amazing language, but then tells us what people across town are doing and thinking, as well. How does she know? It's a bit jarring, but then you accept it and move on.
Also, it contains some plot elements that some will not like. For instance, there's naturopathic healing that waltzes straight over to the dark side (some call it witchcraft, but there's no magic involved) and a relatively important character doesn't stick to his gender. But I think it's all written so well that even those who'd decry the book for its "values" will get over it.
Added bonus: I wanted to know more about author Tiffany Baker, so I went to her website. And read this. Is that not the best, most accurate, bio for a working, writing mom ever?
Please go to your nearest library to check out this book, or download it for your kindle (if you live in a beautiful reading fantasy land), or buy it to read and then donate it to your local library for the rest of us. And then come back here and tell me what you think!