In the press release that accompanied this book, it mentions that the author
Tiffany Baker has been compared to John Irving. Irving at his best (The World According to Garp) is incomparable, and even being mentioned in the same paragraph as this writer is a major accomplishment
in itself. But that type of compare/contrast evaluation can swiftly turn into a double-edged blade. If you're being measured against greatness, you sure as hell
had better not come up half-empty.
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County does not. Yes, there are elements of Irving here - the way he would trace the lineage of a family through a central voice - but even Mr.
Cider House himself hasn't been this mesmerizing for years. The narrator this time is Truly Plaice, a girl grown to giant-like proportions because of a renegade thyroid, ridiculed and humiliated and driven into virtual invisibility by the townspeople of Aberdeen. Even her own sister, Serena Jane, a classic beauty without a heart, treats Truly as cruelly as the neighbors do. But she never gives up on life, and in the end, she'll actually hold the power of life in her hands.
This enchanted tale begins with the Prologue's opening chapter:
The day I laid Robert Morgan to rest was remarkable for two reasons. First, even though it was August, the sky overhead was as rough and cold as a January lake; and second, it was the day I started to shrink."
There's no other option but to read the second paragraph after digesting that opener.
From that moment on, you're among Truly and the mean world within which she must make her way.
Baker is already at work on her second novel. This one should serve notice that a major and majestic new literary voice has emerged and by all rights, they should be lined up around the block awaiting her sophomore release. She'll have no worries being compared to the likes of Irving and Anne Tyler, another writer mentioned in her media bio. In fact, John and Anne may soon start being measured against Tiffany Baker.