The year is 1950, and in a small town on Cape Cod 28 year-old librarian Peggy Cort feels as if love and life have stood her up. Until the day James Carlson Sweatt - the 'over-tall' 11 year-old boy who's the talk of the town - walks into her library and changes her life forever. Two misfits whose lonely paths cross at the circulation desk, Peggy ...
The year is 1950, and in a small town on Cape Cod 28 year-old librarian Peggy Cort feels as if love and life have stood her up. Until the day James Carlson Sweatt - the 'over-tall' 11 year-old boy who's the talk of the town - walks into her library and changes her life forever. Two misfits whose lonely paths cross at the circulation desk, Peggy and James are odd candidates for friendship. In James, Peggy discovers the one person who's ever really understood her, and as he grows - six foot five at age twelve, then seven foot, then eight - so does her heart and their most singular romance. THE GIANT'S HOUSE is a strange, beautifully written and unforgettably tender novel about learning to welcome the unexpected miracle.
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-05-06 A platonic, decorous and achingly poignant love affair between a young man who suffers from gigantism and a librarian who is 14 years his senior is the focus of this remarkable debut novel. McCracken is not merely a born raconteur; she is also an assured stylist and an astute student of human nature. Narrator Peggy Cort, spinster librarian in a small town on Cape Cod, first becomes aware of James Sweatt when he comes into the library with his grade-school class. At age 11, James is already 6'2" and destined to keep growing. Peggy finds herself drawn to the gentle, lonely young man, both because he fills a void in her own life and because she is in effect adopted by James's loving but eccentric family. The reader is mesmerized by this low-key narrative, first lured by Peggy's alternately acerbic and tender voice, then captivated by James's situation and intrigued by his family, later engulfed by pathos as James's body begins to fail and, finally, amazed by a turn of events that ends the novel with a major surprise. McCracken also invests the narrative with humor, sometimes through Peggy's astringent comments and more often through the use of minor characters who add vivid color and their own distinctive voices. One thinks of Anne Tyler's Illumination Night as the closest comparison to this brilliantly imagined chronicle of a peculiar, unique relationship. And like Tyler, McCracken (who also wrote the well-reviewed short-story collection Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry), shows herself a wise and compassionate reader of the human heart. BOMC selection. (July)
Publishers Weekly, 1997-06-09 PW called this NBA finalist, the study of a love affair between a librarian and young man suffering from gigantism, "brilliantly imagined." (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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