My Absolute Darling

My Absolute Darling

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
7
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Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father. Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero—and in the process, becomes ours as well.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2017
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780735211179 (hardcover)
0735211175 (hardcover)
(ebook)
Branch Call Number: FIC TALLENT
Characteristics: 417 pages ; 24 cm

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Stephen King Recommends, Part 2!

We're here with another round of book recommendations from the King of Horror! These are the books he's tweet about to his 3.6 million followers over the last year. As you might expect, his picks tend towards the dark, mysterious, and compulsively readable. Check out part 1 for more picks! First we've got a book that's On Order in our catalog, My Absolute Darling. This heart-wrenching, page-… (more)


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JCLCatherineG Sep 29, 2017

I wanted to read this because the reviews on it were so great. I tried but had to give up; the rape and violence the girl endures at the hands of her father was just too much.

LPL_PolliK Sep 26, 2017

Fourteen-year-old Turtle lives in a crumbling house, eats raw eggs for breakfast before dreaming through school, carries and cleans her handgun obsessively, wanders the Northern California wilderness and beaches, and tries to come to terms with loving her father, the only parent she knows, who is violently abusive and barely holding on to his sanity. When she finds two friends in the woods, she begins to question her life and if it could be different, provoking things to a head with her unstable father. Gorgeous depiction of the natural world juxtaposed with a difficult depiction of a child in trauma. Scenes of rape and violence, as well as incredible strength and resilience.

s
sues05
Sep 23, 2017

Wow! Heart wrenching, ugly, beautiful!

m
Marybartosic
Sep 22, 2017

My first review in any format: I have no words for how magnificent this work is. Stephen King summed up my thoughts perfectly on the back cover of this book. "There are books we like well enough to recommend . . . , but there are very few we remember forever. To my own shortlist I can now add My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent. Fourteen-year-old Turtle Galveston is a brilliantly rendered creation, and her father is the most terrifyingly believable human monster to inhabit the pages of a novel since Harry Powell in The Night of the Hunter. This book is ugly, beautiful, horrifying, and uplifting. The word 'masterpiece' has been cheapened by too many blurbs, but My Absolute Darling absolutely is one." I've seen many one-star reviews of this book, but Mr. King gets it. I will never forget this book.

g
gvlee
Sep 16, 2017

Raw, brutal, and gripping. A compelling portrayal of the complex relationship between 14 year old Turtle and her abusive father. As Turtle starts to come of age, she begins to see the poison in their fierce love for one another.

StaceyM_KCMO Sep 14, 2017

Beautiful, lyrical prose contrasts with the sharp, smart, teenage gun-toting survivalist named Turtle. The setting is almost like its own character, rough around the edges but still tender-hearted and sensitive at the roots (much like the protagonist, Turtle). Many themes emerge, but readers will be rooting for Turtle to come into her own and find the courage to rely on others' friendship to escape her treacherous, abusive father. I loved the character development in this novel and the complexity of the relationships between characters (especially between Turtle and her father, whom she manages to both love and hate at the same time). The wildness of the setting fits with Turtle's character completely: Can she ever be "tamed".... or more importantly, does she want to be? This novel will keep you turning the pages to find out.

c
Candaceb108
Sep 01, 2017

Fabulous, fabulous book; superb writing; natures lives, horrific events ring so true it hurts. This book is a masterpiece. I do not know how the writer, a relatively young man raised by two women, could possibly have written this and it be so real, so true. The menace in every word of the male character; the truth in the heroine's complicated, conflicted, love/hate/hate myself dilemma. And the real truth of the ending.

I don't know if we will, but I want to hear from Turtle again.
I privilege to read.

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