This is the first novel I've read whose protagonist is, actually, a giant, and not in the fairy tale way. Truly Plaice (LOVE the name) is born huge and grows even more huge. Her early years are taut and miserable, living with an alcoholic father in a tiny town where being anything extreme is discouraged. Her older sister, a model of beauty and decorum, only serves to set Truly off as even more vast and unacceptable. As the years go by and things only seem to get harder, Truly has to search hard and cling tight to the people and things in life that can serve her a tiny bit of happiness.
And while Truly is not a fairy tale giant, the book does seem to have a sheen of rural mythology about it. A handed down quilt, a ramshackle family farm, a letter - these seemingly innocuous heirlooms change the course of Truly's life in ways as tremendous as Truly herself. Life and death are constantly demanding to be accounted for and acknowledged while Truly finds a way to pick through the rough parts and find the gems in surviving and moving on. The Little Giant of Aberdeen County earns five stars from me for not only its plot, which winds through Truly's life, but especially for its language - the prose of this book is poetic and tight. I found I couldn't read without a pencil to underline passages that struck me as either beautiful or profound.
Truly's way of looking at the world is emotionally charged and yet so aware of the bigger picture. Her story gives us the freedom to look at life and death and the choices we make, hoping all the while that, in the end, we'll be happy in our own skin.