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Publisher's Summary

Truly Plaice, an overly large and ungainly girl, is the polar opposite of her sister, Serena Jane, the epitome of feminine perfection. With their parents dead, Truly and Serena Jane are separated: Serena Jane to live a life of privilege as the future May Queen and Truly to live on the outskirts of town, the subject of constant abuse and humiliation.

There, while Serena Jane's beauty proves to be her biggest curse, Truly finds her calling - the ability to heal illness with herbs and naturopathic techniques - and, in reckoning with her demons, the possibility of love in unexpected places.

©2009 Tiffany Baker; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Baker's bangup debut mixes the exuberant eccentricities of John Irving's Garp, Anne Tyler's relationship savvy and the plangent voice of Margaret Atwood....It's got all the earmarks of a hit -- infectious and lovable narrator, a dash of magic, an impressive sweep, and a heartrending but not treacly family drama. It'll be a shame if this doesn't race up the best seller lists." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Little Giant of Aberdeen County grabs you from its astonishing beginning to its riveting conclusion. Its charms are multitude -- a wholly unique love story, a devastating friendship, a bewitching multi-generational history, all brought to an apex in the larger-than-life personage of Truly, a heroine simultaneously infused with a quiet and dignified grace and peculiar sense of purpose. This dark-yet-rolicking debut is a must-read." (Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Tracie
  • Davis, CA, USA
  • 03-18-10

Pretty good - but could have been Truly good!

I really enjoyed about the first 2/3 of this book, charmed by the engaging and wise-beyond-her-years protagonist Truly. But as the story moved toward its conclusion, I felt the author forcing actions on her heroine that felt more in service to an envisioned resolution and less true to the character she had crafted so well. In the end, Truly becomes willfully uncurious, stubborn, and ultimately less appealing.

I generally liked the narration, but wasn't thrilled with her insistence on using a gruff voice for every adult male character.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Moire
  • Linden, VA, United States
  • 06-26-09

A new kind of romance

This is a wonderfully quirky romance among people who are very imperfect. Terrific narration captures Truly's frustration of being too large in a small town. Excellent character development makes the reader care about the residents of Aberdeen, and the twists and turns in the plot kept me interested until the very end.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Janet
  • Uxbridge, ON, Canada
  • 03-20-11

Similes like ants on a piece of melted popsicle ..

The author's use of simile was extremely distracting. I couldn't decide whether this was deliberate, or whether she should fire her editor. I came to the conclusion that it had to be deliberate and her editor probably quit. The story was okay although I'm not going to rush to read anything else by this author. This was my first download and I am quite impressed by the quality and convenience.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


This book was ok. Not terrific, like the reviews had led me to believe. The characters were not very deep or consistent. I never really believed what Truly was feeling or really began to understand who she was. The multitude of bizarre metaphors and similes sometimes seemed gratuitous - put there as filler, or because the author felt that one was needed - but they were often incongruous. The most telling part of a book for me is when I do not come to care very much for any of the characters or sympathize with them in any way. The plot development kept you hoping, and on edge just enough to want to finish the story, but in the end, it was unsatisfying.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Katherine
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 06-09-09

The Little Giant of aberdeen County

What a wonderful read! I was sorry it ended. I loved the simplicity and strength of the main character Truly, and the imagery the author created for us. The narrator was perfect...she sounds like Kathy Bates. I'm looking forward to further work from Tiffany Baker!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wonderful book.

Oh how I enjoyed this book. It was artistically grand with the best visualizations inspired by the author. The metaphors were often more fascinating then the content. This is a very cute book and doesnt leave you screaming about how stupid the characters are for taking the abuse dolled out to them. The character Truly makes you believe in the inner strength of people.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Customer E
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • 06-12-11


The main character of this book, Truly, never seems convincingly real. She tries to appear thoughtful by constantly speaking in similes, but she doesn't consider the consequences of her actions or the choices that are available to her. She's frustratingly unable to see things from other people's perspectives, and hides herself from others to a ridiculous degree. Truly, who faces many challenges from early in her life, should be a sympathetic character, but instead I was constantly frustrated by her.

Truly narrates the book herself, but reveals plot points to the reader early in the story that the character doesn't become aware of until much later. Knowing the answers to many of the mysteries being mulled by Truly makes what could have been exciting twists dull instead.

Although the book deals with a variety of interesting topics, the discussions were generally unsatisfying.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very Satisfying Read!

I gotta tell you, I almost didn't continue listening to this book. But I'm so glad I did. It was SUCH a terrific story and what a narrator - wonderful.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Might have been a better read than listen...

The narrator really did an injustice to this story. I think I might have enjoyed reading it, but the narration made the characters seem dim-witted and dull. Not sure if Ms. McDuffie was going for a northern NY accent or what, but her inflections just sounded like a Bronx cheer. The story line was interesting and I think the review about not being able to sympathize with the characters had more to do with the narrator than the author. Don't waste a credit, pick it up at the library.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I don't understand the appeal.

The tone of the book is very down from the start. Once Truly deliberately killed the neighbor's cat to test an herbal concoction, I put the thing down for good. Hard to sympathize with an abuser of animals. (This happened quite early in the story, so it isn't much of a spoiler.) Perhaps it gets better past the point at which I was too discusted to continue? It certainly got some good reviews.

If you want a truly exceptional story with heart and 3 superb readers, try "The Help."

I was not a fan of this reader, who's pace was slow. She may be great for another kind of book, esp. a children's story.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful