My Absolute Darling: A Novel

Category: Book
By (author): Tallent, Gabriel
Subject:  FICTION / Action & Adventure
  FICTION / Coming of Age
  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Literary
Publisher: Riverhead
Published: August 2017
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 432
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in
Our Price:
$ 36.00
Availability:
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*"The word 'masterpiece' has been cheapened by too many blurbs, but My Absolute Darling absolutely is one." -Stephen King

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. The reader tracks Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, and watches, heart in throat, as she 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.
Review Quote*"There are books we like well enough to recommend, but there are a very few- To Kill a Mockingbird, Catch-22, The Things They Carried- that we remember forever. To my own shortlist I can now add My Absolute Darling, by Gabriel Tallent. Fourteen-year-old Turtle Alveston 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." -Stephen King

"I read My Absolute Darling in one sitting, well past midnight, despite an early-morning flight: the book is that impossible to put down. Gabriel Tallent depicts Turtle's battle for her independence--body, mind, and soul--with brutal honesty and overwhelming tenderness. The result is a heartrending debut that will shock, then shake, then inspire you." -Celeste Ng, New York Times-bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You 

"It is unreal how vivid and compelling this book is. Turtle Alveston is one of the most vibrant characters I've come across in a long time, and every scene in this astonishing novel packs so much tension, so much insight, such beautiful prose and such masterful handling of detail, I simply could not stop reading." -Phil Klay, National Book Award-winning author of Redeployment 

"The tale of Turtle, a teenage girl being raised by her unstable widower father in the Northern California wilderness, will draw you so intimately into the heart and mind of this troubled captive that you'll almost feel her anguish-emotional and physical-as your own... Tallent's breathtaking debut is a harrowing and at times psychologically difficult journey on the scale of A Little Life or The Goldfinch, but it's worth it. The unflagging tenacity of this young heroine as she navigates her path to adulthood against seemingly insurmountable odds is a true inspiration." -Harper's Bazaar

"[Tallent has] written a fearless adventure tale that's as savvy about internal emotional storms as it is about wrangling with family and nature… A powerful, well-turned story about abuse, its consequences, and what it takes to survive it." -Kirkus, starred review
Biographical NoteGabriel Tallent was born in New Mexico and raised on the Mendocino coast by two mothers. He received his B.A. from Willamette University in 2010, and after graduation spent two seasons leading youth trail crews in the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest. Tallent lives in Salt Lake City.