Are you ready for a (very) big literary hit? Well then stop everything and rush out to buy the first novel by American writer Gabriel Tallent, 30-years-old:My absolute Darling. Already a phenomenon in the USA, the book tells the story of a teenager, brought up on the wild side, confronted with violence and an overwhelming love for her father. And if you have steady nerves, this novel will mark you forever. Here are 3 reasons to read this amazing book.
An original and unforgettable pitch
Before reading the first page, you should be aware that the story is not a sweet tale. The novel is violent, but it’s precisely the revolting torment of Turtle, a young 14-year-old girl, that brings the intensity and depth so particular to this text. At the heart of nature in North California, in a practically abandoned hut, Turtle shares her daily life with Martin, her knowledgeable and charismatic father. In turn incestuous, violent and loving, Martin brings up his daughter the hard way: weapons, testing physical limits on the verge of torture... Day after day, the father wrecks a little more Turtle, his « absolute love ». But the teenager quickly figures out she must fend for herself, even if it means breaking up the strange relation of love, passion, disdain and hate that bonds her to her father.
A book that is an urge to self-introspection
If this monstrous father/daughter relationship is hard to bear and makes chills run down our spin, the incredible strength of Turtle quickly comforts us. Far from being just the simple product of her strange education, the young girl finds inside herself, and thanks to those she encounters along the way, incredible resources to move ahead and build a life as she wishes. How about you? How would you have reacted if you were in the sneakers of Turtle ? Which resources do we have to live on our own, aside from what is expected of us. The novel offers an interesting insight on intimate identity—one that devoid of all outside factors, pushes us to become ourselves.
An overwhelming writing style
It took the author, Gabriel Tallent, no less than… eight years to come out with his first novel ! Needless to say the writing is worked on, chizeled and calculated so that you are immersed in the world of this bluffing teenager. The superb descriptions of nature in North California—wild and dangerous— lock us up behind closed doors with characters that run after each other or try to escape. The writing oscillates constantly between the objective and descriptive approach of this relation that makes our blood run cold, to the introspections of Turtle, torn between her love for the man who brought her up and her need for emancipation. A real stunner, even for solid readers.
My Absolute Darling, Gabriel Tallent, Gallmeister, €24.40
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