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My Absolute Darling

by Gabriel Tallent

Debut Books of the Month Family Drama Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on My Absolute Darling

Make no mistake, this debut novel is startling and often painfully uncomfortable, yet it is a stunning, actually breathtaking piece of literature. 14 year old Turtle is strong, capable, different, she is also suffering… deeply and painfully. Within the first few pages I knew that ‘My Absolute Darling’ was going to be an unforgettable read. By the end of the first chapter, ice-cold fingers had run down my spine and sent my whole system into shock. I felt as though I was viewing life from an entirely different perspective, one absolutely humming with intensity. I wanted to stop the feelings of disbelief and horror that were crowding into my mind, but I knew that I had to bear witness. Gabriel Tallent’s writing is surprisingly simple, yet he paints a vibrant pulsating picture, this man sees life, sees beneath the surface, and grants you access too. The plants, wildlife, and surrounding countryside, so beautifully described, link with the reality of Turtle’s life and on occasion act as a buffer to what is happening. There were times when ‘My Absolute Darling’ made me scream inside, yet I couldn't stop reading this remarkable and actually rather beautiful novel.  It will undoubtedly be one of my books of the year.

Liz Robinson

My Absolute Darling Synopsis

At 14, Turtle Alveston knows the use of every gun on her wall. She knows how to snare a rabbit, sharpen a blade and splint a bone. She knows that her daddy loves her more than anything else in this world and he'll do whatever it takes to keep her with him. But she doesn't know why she feels so different from the other girls at school; why the line between love and pain can be so hard to see. Or why making a friend may be the bravest and most terrifying thing she has ever done. Sometimes the people you're supposed to trust are the ones who do most harm. And what you've been taught to fear is the very thing that will save you ... 

My Absolute Darling Press Reviews

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

`If you liked Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life, you'll love this' Daily Mail

`A powerful tale with a howitzer of a heroine and a plethora of extraordinary scenes' TLS

`A heartrending debut that will shock, then shake, then inspire you' Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You

`An outstanding book that could be this year's A Little Life' Guardian

`My Absolute Darling is an absolute triumph' National

`The writing is beautiful and vivid, while the story is brilliantly urgent, brutal and uncompromising' Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days

`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 . . . a true inspiration' Harper's Bazaar

`Once a year - certainly no more - along comes a special novel that turns its readers into literary holy rollers. A couple of years ago it was Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life. Before that Ferrante fever. This year, I suspect it will be My Absolute Darling' The Times

`This is a compelling and unsettling novel that sucks you into its darkly warped world and doesn't let go until the last page ... powerful, violent, savage and quite brilliant' Daily Express

`A gut wrenching, terrifying novel written so beautifully it sings off the page' Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat

`This is a bloody, brutal tale, but also an incredibly beautiful one' Emerald Street

`This book has challenged me like no other. It's a masterpiece. A work of art on a page. I guarantee this book will take your breath away' Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

`Brutal yet beautiful, My Absolute Darling has floored me. Dear Turtle, a heroine amidst the horror. Exceptional, unflinching storytelling' Ali Land , author of Good Me Bad Me

`An incandescent novel with an extraordinary, unforgettable heroine, both deeply contemplative and utterly thrilling' Observer - Thriller of the month

`There are echoes of Ma's bravery in Emma Donoghue's Room, or the resilience of Cormac McCarthy's protagonists as they struggle to stay alive. Tallent's world is shocking in the truest sense of the word' Irish Times

`An utterly fantastic read. Every page is brimming with energy. And Turtle Alveston is as enthralling a character as I've encountered in a good long while' Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008185244
Publication date: 12/07/2018
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780008185213
Publication date: 29/08/2017
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008185244
Publication date: 12th July 2018
Author: Gabriel Tallent
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 432 pages
Genres: Debuts of the Month, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Adventure,

About Gabriel Tallent

Gabriel 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.

More About Gabriel Tallent

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