My Absolute Darling: A Riveting Must-Read

Gabriel Tallent’s debut novel, My Absolute Darling, is a riveting must-read about fourteen-year-old Turtle Alveston. Growing up in the woods of Northern California with a militantly strict father who keeps her isolated outside of school, she has the skills of a seasoned outdoor survivalist but no friends. When she meets Jacob, a high school boy, in the woods one day, Turtle finally starts to question the life she knows.

Listen to an excerpt MY ABSOLUTE DARLING, then read what staff members have to say about My Absolute Darling:

“My Absolute Darling is everything: riveting, devastating, and gorgeous, featuring a heroine for the record books. Turtle Alveston, I salute you.” –Megan Mills, Assistant Editor

“Although I’m more of a fan of thrillers and young adult stories, I wasn’t able to put my headphones down after I started My Absolute Darling. Not that it’s a quick listen, clocking in at over sixteen hours, but watching Turtle’s development throughout the story is absolutely captivating. With gorgeous writing, memorable characters, and an intense storyline that will have you reeling, My Absolute Darling will have you staying up late to listen to the whole story.” –Brieana Garcia, Marketing Assistant

“First-time novelist Tallent’s writing is so lush and precise and his characters so fully realized and weighty that not a single word in the book rings false, and I haven’t been able to get Turtle Alveston out of my head. Pair that with an intensely rich, vivid wilderness setting and Alex McKenna’s youthful, slightly raspy, vulnerable-tough narration, and you’ve got one hell of a riveting listening experience.” –Sarah Jaffe, Producer

“Listening to Gabriel Tallent’s debut novel on audio was mesmerizing. Turtle Alveston is the story’s fourteen-year-old protagonist. She’s tough, capable, and a survivor. She’s also dealing with issues that no teenager should have to encounter. The kind of issues that she wants to run away from. And while the abuse in this story can be hard to hear, Tallent deftly approaches the subject and provides a look into its complexities and layers. Alex McKenna’s masterful narration deliberately slows the pace of the dialogue to match the tone of the book. It’s terrifying and compelling. I can’t recommend it enough.” –Winnie De Moya, Social Media Manager

“Since finishing My Absolute Darling, I’ve caught myself lost in thought, imagining Turtle standing outside her house, surveying her land and considering her options. She’s a character who, because of her strength and cleverness, gets under your skin and stays there. Tallent’s descriptions of the Northern Californian landscapes alone are unforgettable, but watching our heroine fight for her life amidst the wilderness is nothing short of breathtaking. You won’t forget My Absolute Darling anytime soon.” –Maren McCamley, Imprint Sales Director, Audio and Brand Publishers

“Visceral, intense, ugly, and beautiful. All of those words come to my mind when I think of My Absolute Darling. It’s a harrowing experience to jump into Turtle’s life and be a silent bystander, but watching her ultimately triumph over the odds against her and discover little pieces of good in the world around her make the journey worthwhile.” –Taraneh DJangi, Marketing Manager