Truly Plaice is born with a syndrome called acromegaly, in which the pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone. Truly does not discover this until she is an adult, because her widowed father, devastated by his wife's death in childbirth and blaming the doctor, never takes his daughter for medical attention. By the age of 1 1/2 Truly is too large to fit into her 4 year old sister's clothes and is given boys' overalls, work shirts and boots to wear. Gloriously contrasting with Truly is her sister Serena Jane is slim and petite, blond-haired and blue-eyed. She is the beauty of small-town Aberdeen, pet of the reverend's wife, and it is a given that she will be May Queen one day.
Truly knows she is different than Serena Jane and others, but it isn't until she starts school and schoolteacher Priscilla Sparrow refers to her as a "little giant" that she knows just how different. In a small town being different is usually not a good thing, and Truly's inability to conform in other ways does not help. She is neither a good student, an athlete, or a witty conversationalist. Upon the death of their father, the chasm between the sisters becomes larger as their lives are set on different paths, Serena Jane one of privilege and adoration, and Truly the degradation of becoming a local outcast It is not until she is an adult and discovers one of Aberdeen's legendary secrets that Truly finds her calling and acceptance, becoming an herbalist, which allows her to gain control over her own life.Dreams, fear, love, revenge, admiration, hatred, friendship, family, these are all themes in The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. Almost Gothic, with a villain, unrequited love and family secrets this story is fresh and interesting and the four main characters of Truly, her friends Amelia and Marcus, and their nemesis Robert (Bob Bob) Morgan are well-constructed, whole people with imperfections, strengths, and at one time or another, are sympathetic for the reader. While one might expect the book to make readers feel forlorn, I mostly felt hope and often I laughed while reading. We all know that beauty is only skin deep, and this magical story just brings the message home again.
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