My Absolute Darling

My Absolute Darling

A Novel

eBook - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A brilliant and immersive, all-consuming read about one fourteen-year-old girl's heart-stopping fight for her own soul.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.Shot through with striking language in a fierce natural setting, My Absolute Darling is an urgently told, profoundly moving read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.
Publisher: 2017
ISBN: 9780735211193
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Sep 23, 2017

Wow! Heart wrenching, ugly, beautiful!

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.

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.

Cynthia_N Sep 14, 2017

Such a good read yet such a hard read! Turtle is being raised by her abusive father and it goes beyond what I could have imagined. She is dismissive of most people because she knows she cannot let them in but she does makes friends with two teenage boys. She lets one of them in. The book has a horrifying portion where Turtle has to make a difficult decision but I'm going to stop there because I don't want to spoil anything. Recommended if you think you can handle it!!

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.

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.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings

RPL owns a similar edition of this title.

View originally-listed edition

Report edition-matching error

To Top