My Absolute Darling

My Absolute Darling

Book - 2017
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"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."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2017
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780735211179
0735211175
Branch Call Number: FICTION TALLENT 2017
Characteristics: 417 pages ; 24 cm

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From Library Staff

September. Before I knew what had happened, I was sucked into this absolutely harrowing tale of a modern day kind of Katniss Everdean, but this Katniss has to deal with an awful, abusive father, a character I despise more than maybe any other. The writing is vivid, as is the northern California c... Read More »


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mlegates
Feb 10, 2019

I agree completely with Frey29. This is a sadistic, dreadful book. It's suspenseful at times, but also ponderous. Not worth the time.

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Frey29
Jan 27, 2019

This is not just a "difficult read." This is about child rape, child-abuse (physical, emotional, and sexual) and hopelessness. Everything about this book is angry--even the teenage heroine's persistent negative self-talk (to the point of abuse.) In the end, these characters leave the story so messed up you question their future. And, the writer doesn't just leave loose ends...she's looking for a sequal. What does the reader get out of this except a peak into the abuse and disfunction of a very messed up family? Regardless of previous reviews...there is nothing in this book to help one recognize or assist abused children, in fact using this as entertainment is rather sick.

e
ednabw
Sep 12, 2018

A difficult read - the writing is raw and powerful and gritty. If it wasn't a book club choice, I don't think I would have finished it except, as a reader, there is an underlying compulsion to feel there is a slight chance of hope and for redemption. At first, you are, by nature, compelled to root for the young survivalist woman-teen who is in an abusive relationship with her father. Although support from others is obvious and blatant, she repels all assistance with the same tone for which she is familiar. Her poisonous emotional attachment to her father draws her into a fateful and inevitable outcome until she acknowledges that others may be affected. The book is hard to like but also, hard to put down.

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mbenavent
Aug 09, 2018

Beware reader! This is a book that addresses a really horrifying topic. Physical, psychological and sexual abuse from a father to his daughter. It is absolutely crude and so unpleasant to read that I found it almost impossible to read at times. I considered several times if it made sense to read something that is so painful, disgusting and with lots of unnecessary detail and violence, but I decided to continue until the end to try and understand what the author was aiming at. Not worth it. Now I need to find another book that helps me get rid of the shock this novel has left me in.

t
tuckerandzahra
Jul 10, 2018

Not what you think this book is going to be. A very graphic hard read at some points, this girl is a wonderful character, but has a VERY hard life. Some details of her father sexually assaulting her are almost too much detail. I bought this book, but cant think of a friend that I would give the book to and tell them it was a "good" read. Compelling read, but the story is difficult, and at the end quite violent.

v
velveetahead
Jul 05, 2018

This book was brutal. I almost stopped reading it after the first chapter. I suspected it was going where I thought it might be going in terms of the abuse and did not enjoy reading it. The way it was written, at first, did not show much conflict in Turtle's thinking. She mirrored her father's thoughts a lot when she thought about herself and other women. Later on in the book, she actually gets away from her father for extended periods of time and sees how other people live. It opens up her mind and she becomes more conflicted about if everything her father has done to her and said to her is true.

I struggled with the descriptions of violence towards Turtle. I feel like I read this entire book with a clenched jaw due to the uneasiness I felt living in this world.

I did enjoy the very end, starting with the final battle and the aftermath of that battle. It was satisfying and realistic. The character of Turtle's dad was believable. I know there are people like that in the world. He was horrible, but apparently charming enough to the outside world so he got away with a lot of things he shouldn't have.

I don't think I would ever recommend this book to someone. It did make a shift for me halfway through, but that clenched-jaw feeling and high anxiety that I felt at the beginning half of the book is not something I would ever wish on anyone else. It's one of those decent books I have read, but I'll never have the desire to read it again.

shan180 Jun 27, 2018

A friend half heartedly recommended this book, and I felt the same way when I recommended it to another friend; because of the subject matter. It was superb in webbing the storyline, and difficult to read because of the content. I loved the seriousness of the subject, and very much disliked reading about the subject. What a book! I would recommend it to anyone who can read about tragic family circumstances, and enjoys a page turner.

c
cedaranna
Jun 21, 2018

A gripping incredible book, but very disturbing.

m
m0mmyl00
May 30, 2018

Turtle is a 14-year-old girl who lives with her father in an off-the-grid-type situation in Northern California. The father is intent on building her into a strong, tough person who can sustain herself and defeat any foe. He is convinced of the imminent collapse of civilization as we know it. He is also convinced that he loves Turtle dearly, calling her “my absolute darling.” He shows it by having sex with her regularly. She loves him, too, and hates him at the same time. They have trapped each other in a needy, sick, and violent life. She wanders off one day and meets a couple of teen-age boys, and they become friends. Having a more-or-less normal relationship with someone ultimately saves her. She realizes she has to stop her father or he will kill her, and her father realizes the same thing. It’s a sad, sick relationship. Reading it was hard, and I don’t feel enlightened or wiser for having put myself through the emotional turmoil of the book. The book may have been well-written, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

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bort23
Feb 07, 2018

This book bravely tackles an awful subject with thoughtfulness and care. As someone who unfortunately has to work with child porn on a daily basis, I can understand why there are those who would rather pretend it doesn't exist and as such, disregard this book as insulting and even offensive. On the contrary, I find it extremely important. The signs of child abuse as often ignored in a similar by those who have the power to step in and help, which ironically, this book goes into length to show. I was inspired by Turtle's bravery and was moved by her emotions. A truly great novel.

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cedaranna
Jun 21, 2018

cedaranna thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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CrazyBookLover
Dec 04, 2017

CrazyBookLover thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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