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Truly Plaice has been larger than life since her conception. The town men wagered on how big she would be when she was born. They all guessed too low. In contrast to her petite, doll-like older sister, Truly looks even bigger. Needless to say, the small town is not kind to Truly as she grows up. The other children are merciless and even adults want her safely out of the way. When she and Serena Jane are orphaned, Truly is shipped off to a farm on the outskirts of town while her sister lives in town with the vicar’s wife. Truly does eventually make a few friends, children who are just as much outcasts as she is. She has their support as they grow older and the lives of the golden children of the town slowly fall apart.
This really didn’t do anything for me and I feel like it should have. I listened to it, so maybe my attention span just wasn’t up to par. But I really didn’t care what happened to anybody, even Truly.
At first, I did love the way that Truly has made her birth and early years a personal mythology. The story is in a sort of omniscient first person. Truly shares her mother’s dying thoughts and things she couldn’t possibly know. I liked it.
But as Truly grew, I cared less and less.
The town is full of horrible people. The only ones who are kind to Truly are the ones who don’t fit in for various reasons. She does find a place with them, but she’s never fully content with it. She adores her sister and always wants to find a way to spend more time with her. That’s admirable, but Serena Jane has no interest in Truly. None. She’s a self-absorbed little ice princess. She doesn’t care about anyone other than herself. Truly never seems to fully appreciate the friendship and love she does have but constantly worries about the lack of a relationship with Serena Jane.
She eventually finds herself back in town and nothing is any better. If anything, her situation is infinitely worse in most ways. And Truly just accepts it as her lot in life. She seems happy to be miserable.
Toward the end, she suffers a huge personal loss, but it doesn’t seem to affect her at all. It was almost like, “Oh well. Lesson learned. Moving on.” At least she learned from it, but there needed to be more of an expression of mourning. I was upset with her for appearing to be so uncaring.
Narrator Carrington MacDuffie did a pretty good job, but that’s really all I have to say about her performance.
I think I’m in the minority with my opinion, but to me this was just a gray book that I listened to in a gray spring and I will probably forget about it pretty quickly.
Read an excerpt.
Buy The Little Giant of Aberdeen County at
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