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Publisher's Summary

A brilliant and immersive, all-consuming audiobook about one 14-year-old girl's heart-stopping fight for her own soul.
Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At 14, 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 listener 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 book that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.
©2017 Gabriel Tallent (P)2017 Penguin Audio
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Critic Reviews

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

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Mel on 09-08-17

Talented writer that needs direction

What on earth possessed me to read this I'll never know. After spending years in a profession where I had to read patient bio's similar to this story, I might have just drifted into it out of habit; or maybe it was my other habit of reading what the Editors and Critics list as the *Best Of* books. Very profound abuse of a young girl by an eccentric father. The mother has passed away, possibly intentionally -- you'll come to wonder. The psychological manipulations by the father are horrendous, teetering between equally repulsive strategies of treating the girl as a willing lover and as a little girl he wants to protect from a world he believes is coming to an apocalyptic end, interspersed with beatings.

I can't blame anyone for suggesting a book they thought was great...I have to admit Tallent shows promise as a writer far better than most of the debut authors; all the more confusing. He is even poetic at times. But, aside from any leanings toward the poetical...the book is loaded with profanity...loaded. The girl continuously refers to herself (and everyone else) fondly as a *C* word. Sadly, I didn't find the story itself compelling enough to justify the sickening feeling it gave me -- and I'm nowhere near a shrinking violet when it comes to the subject. With such extensive and prolonged abuse, I found myself wondering, where are the responsible adults in this story; where are the red flags and the charging bulls they should be attracting? Without more of a psychological foundation, the story slipped into sensationalism.

If you can take the details of abuse and endure to the end, be prepared for a Deus ex Machina conclusion that eliminated any positive points I may have wanted to give to a new author showing real talent.

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22 of 25 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Dustin C. Manning on 10-10-17

What an awful book

I’ve never read a book with more repetition since Dr. Seuss. Such a slog getting through what should have been a harrowing read. And while the material was written poorly the narration didn’t help : whiny and irritating. my Absolute disappointment.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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