Wednesday, October 18, 2017

My Absolute Darling

Trauma. While reading Gabriel Tallent’s debut novel titled, My Absolute Darling, I found myself patiently awaiting deeper character development or insight into human behavior. After four hundred pages, the characters remained poorly developed and I was no closer to understanding behavior than I was on page one. Protagonist Turtle lives almost off the grid with her father, Martin. Their relationship involves physical and psychological abuse and the title is how Martin refers to Turtle. The novel is packed with violence and trauma. While some readers will consider Turtle as a heroine, I considered her more as a survivor, and it’s easy to understand why she loves her father despite the abuse. The extended cast of characters are one-dimensional, and the community that ignores Turtle for most of the book seems keenly aware of her at the end. All those gaps and anomalies led me to close the book feeling as if I was part of the trauma, and I was glad to have it come to an end. Rating: Two-star (I didn’t like it) Click here to purchase My Absolute Darling from

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