My Absolute Darling
Booklist Reviews 2017 July #1
*Starred Review* "My absolute darling," Martin calls his 14-year-old daughter, Turtle. The girl's mother is dead, and the misanthropic and misogynistic father and self-hating daughter live, surrounded by guns, in a run-down house on the Northern California coast near Mendocino. A pariah at school, Turtle has only one friend and confidant, her alcoholic grandfather, until she meets funny, articulate Jacob, who is fascinated by her. Learning of her interest in the boy, Martin beats her savagely with an iron poker, saying "You're mine. Mine." Perhaps further expressing his ownership of his daughter, he routinely rapes her, leaving Turtle with deeply conflicted feelings, both loving and hating him simultaneously. This is Turtle's life until her grandfather's death becomes the catalyst for Martin's disappearance. In his absence, Turtle leads a relatively peaceful existence in Jacob's company until her father returns three months later, bringing with him a 10-year-old girl, and things begin to change dramatically. Turtle is an extraordinary character whose thoughts and actions enliven the pages of Tallent's remarkable first novel—remarkable not only for its characterization but also for its minute examination of the natural world that Turtle inhabits. So vivid is the gorgeously realized setting that it becomes itself a major character in a novel that lingers in the mind long after the final page. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2017 April #2
Fourteen-year-old Turtle wanders the northern California coast but always circles back to her troubled father, the center of her life since her mother's death. But then she meets Jacob, who lives comfortably in a big house and thinks she's awesome, and suddenly Turtle understands that life with her father cannot continue. How good is this late August title? Good enough to make the BEA Buzz panel.Copyright 2017 Library Journal.
PW Reviews 2017 June #4
Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.