The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken
(Harper Perennial, 2006, 320 pages)
Peggy Cort is the lone librarian in a small Massachusetts town located along Cape Cod. The novel is told from her point of view as she reflects back on her life and the man that she loved. A man who also happened to be a giant. Set in the 1950s Peggy and James meet in the library when she is 25 and he is 11. Yes, the age difference between them is a little disconcerting.
James has always been big for his age. And over the course of his life he never actually stops growing. Because there’s no doubt that he’s different he has a quality about him that sets him apart from other people his age. He’s more introspective and he spends a great deal of time reading the books he either picks out himself or that Peggy recommends.
During James’s youth Peggy somehow finds herself brought into his family. She helps take care of James and as he continues to grow, so does their bond.
I thought The Giant’s House was very well written. It’s a slim book but it wasn’t something that lent itself to being rushed through. Like I mentioned earlier, the age difference between James and Peggy is kind of “different” because she comments early on in the book that she knew she loved him almost from the start. But they’re both outsiders in their own way and you appreciate the fact that they find comfort in each other’s presence. Good read – glad I picked it up! (Also, this was a National Book Award Finalist).