“Something good can come from even the most terrifying things. For eve y thing that is taken away, something else is given.”
Ruth Brennan is a giant, “a rare, organic blunder pressed into a dollhouse world,” as she calls herself. Growing up in a small town, where even an ordinary person can’t simply fade into the background, there is no hiding the fact that Ruth is different: she can see it in the eyes of everyone around her, even her own parents. James and Elspeth Brennan are emotionally at sea, struggling with the devastation wrought on their lives by World War II and with their unspoken terror that the daughter they love may, like so much else, one day be taken away from them. But fate works in strange ways, and Ruth finds that for all the things that go unsaid around her, she is nonetheless able to see deeply into the secret hearts of others—their past traumas, their present fears, and the people they might become, if only they have courage enough.
About the Author
Kristen den Hartog’s previous novels are Water Wings, The Perpetual Ending, which was a finalist for the Toronto Book Award, and Origin of Haloes. The Occupied Garden: A Family Memoir of War-torn Holland was written with her sister, Tracy Kasaboski, and was a Globe Notable Book of 2008. She lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.
Praise for The Girl Giant…
“Gorgeously written and tremendously moving . . . More than a coming-of-age tale, this is the story of a whole family and the secrets that haunt each member. Every sentence sparkles.”—Karen Thompson Walker, New York Times bestselling author of The Age of Miracles
“With exquisite insight and boundless imagination, Kristen den Hartog takes me inside the soul and body of a young giant, letting me experience her bliss, her shame, her wisdom. Heartbreaking and exhilarating.”—Ursula Hegi, author of Children and Fire
“In a post-World War II Canada, a young girl quickly grows to seven feet tall. This absorbing novel chronicles the excruciating loneliness of her adolescence, the strains in her parents' marriage, and the development of her uniquely optimistic view toward life.”—Real Simple
“'It certainly was something to feel my body elongating, opening out like the longest telescope that ever was,’ confides young Ruth Brennan in Kristen den Hartog’s short yet ambitious The Girl Giant, a novel set in Canada after World War II about a deeply intuitive girl who grows to be more than seven feet tall.”—Elle
“[A] delicately-drawn portrait…Innocent and dreamy, combining fairy tale and true giants in history, den Hartog’s simple story offers a sweetly insightful mix of anguish and tenderness.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Like Hilary Mantel’s The Giant O’Brien and Ellen Bryson’s The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno, den Hartog’s lovingly fashioned narrative turns people often labeled as freaks into human beings with whom the reader can identify.”—Library Journal
“Very intimate . . . Den Hartog paints a picture of ordinary lives simply trying to deal with their own demons while holding on to what they love. It is a lovely book written with tenderness for all the characters.”—Louisville Courier-Journal
“Den Hartog’s small-in-scale novel about an enormous girl . . . [r]eads like both an expanded bedtime story and a quiet, coming-of-age novel.”—Booklist
“[A] beautifully written book about family, relationships, and accepting who we are in relation to the people we love. . . . In addition to being a beguiling story, The Girl Giant is beautifully written with a dreamy, poetic feel to it.”—Belletrista.com
“James and Elspeth, an ordinary couple, become a spectacle when their daughter, Ruth, grows more than seven feet tall. With a delicate and lyrical touch, Kristen den Hartog forces the parents to confront their buried fears in [The Girl Giant], letting the intuitive Ruth navigate the often-scary world.”—Elle (Canada)