Monday, April 22, 2013

The Giant’s House: A Romance by Elizabeth McCracken

A Big, Unforgettable Friendship (Not Your Ordinary…Romance)

The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken is about a librarian who forms a friendship with an overly tall boy.  She calls it love, and it is a love story.  But a different kind of love. It’s not the sordid sort that makes you cringe.  It’s not about an older teacher-type woman taking advantage of a younger student.  This is a touching tale about Peggy Cort and James Sweatt.  Peggy is a single woman others would call a spinster.  But that word conjures up images of a bitter, lonely woman, which she definitely is not.  Peggy doesn't require companionship with many friends or even a husband to make her life feel full. Instead, she opens her heart to this unusually tall boy.  James first came to her library when he was a 6’2” eleven-year-old; she was twenty five; it was 1950. Slowly she helps him not only in the world of books, but in general.  She becomes a caring friend, and he becomes a precious gift to her. Miss Cort narrates the story looking back on her life, and it “McCrackles” with a blunt, honest, and dryly humorous tone. Her voice is luring. It flows easily and lightly.  I could “listen to her” all day long.  I think this book is one of those treasures that will stay with me a long time. Peggy and James are unforgettable. This book was a nice, giant surprise and shot right up there on my list of favorites.

**On a side note, it saddens me to say that my mother did not care for the book as much as I did.  She stopped reading it--said it didn't grab her.  There was too much talking, not enough action.  :(  So, who's right, me or my mom? Anyone?

“I loved him because I wanted to save him, and because I could not.”—Peggy
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant’s House (New York: Avon Books, 1997), 89.

“My parents were frugal and did not even give me a middle name.”—Peggy
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant’s House (New York: Avon Books, 1997), 86.

“I am happy with my life largely because it is my life. How many regrets can I have?”—Peggy
Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant’s House (New York: Avon Books, 1997), 144.

1. Why did or didn't you like this book?

2. Did you consider it a real romance or just a friendship?

3. Did you think the ending rounded the story out nicely or cheapened it?

What did you think of this book? Post a comment or email:

Happy reading!


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