The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
by Tiffany Baker
(Grand Central, $24.99)

This “weird and wonderful” first novel resembles nothing so much as its unusual heroine, said Mary Wisniewski in the Chicago Sun-Times. Truly Plaice is born “more a boulder than a baby”—an oversize infant doomed by a pituitary disorder to grow up lonely and ridiculed. But her “mordant, earthy” voice allows her to touch on so many of the mysteries of life as she tells her own story that the result is “ungainly but magical.” The first half of the novel focuses on Truly’s attractive older sister, Serena, said Ron Charles in The Washington Post. “Beauty becomes a kind of prison” for Serena, though, when she marries a cruel town doctor. When Serena disappears, it’s Truly’s ugliness that makes her invisible enough to track down a secret spell book and to plot revenge. As the tension mounts, author Tiffany Baker displays a sure sense of “the dark comedy of melodrama.” Every time the pathos gets bad, “it’s deliciously bad, like a large bag of gothic potato chips.” Once you start, “you just can’t stop.”