I was completely sucked into Tiffany’s book from the first page. I love Alice Hoffman and many of the other writers who combine magic and folklore with fiction. Tiffany’s characters are ordinary people—farmers, barbers, doctors, teachers, drunks, lonely and spiteful people—but magic and witchcraft hovers over their lives, too.
Truly is a giant—tall and wide—and she towers over everyone around her. But she is a shrinking violet personality-wise. She would prefer to be invisible, but is also terribly lonely. Her mother died when she was born, her father gave her away, and her perfectly lovely sister is indifferent. But at the same time she has friends, fellow outcasts who have bonded with her. And their friendship is much more powerful than anyone knows.
Tiffany writes eloquently about the hierarchy of a small town, and the 1950’s and beyond—where women are still second-class citizens. Even when they have the power to heal, someone else can still oppress them. Her image of the quilt, passed down by a “healer” in the family, reminded me of a lovely documentary on the quilts that slaves made on plantations. One woman was quoted as saying something like “we made them warm so we wouldn’t freeze, and we made them beautiful to keep our hearts from breaking.”
The book Little Giant of Aberdeen County has already gotten a lot of attention from the media before it barely came out. If I had a crystal ball, or a magic quilt, I could possibly see into the future. And this is what I’m pretty sure I would see: the book on multiple best of lists for 2009, a bestseller, and nominated for some serious awards. It is that kind of special book—the kind everyone will be talking about—so I recommend you run out and buy a copy now (before they’re all gone!).
And enter our launch week contest! All readers who comment on any of our posts this week will automatically be entered to win a signed-by-the-author copy of the very first 2009 Debutante Ball release, Tiffany Baker’s The Little Giant of Aberdeen County! You get one entry for every day this week that you comment here at the Ball.