My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent  


This debut novel is like a kick in the groin but also like a hand to hold. An unlikely combination but it's true. Turtle is a 14-year-old girl living on the fringes of Mendocino with her survivalist/philosopher father, who sexually and pschologically abuses her. Turtle has internalised and adopted her father's misoginy so deeply that her narrative is drenched in a confronting self-hatred. But when she grabs a glimpse of what a normal adolescence is like, she begins to realise that she cannot continue to be possessed by her father. 
The simmering tension throughout this novel is incredibly arresting - I read this within 24 hours. Comparisons have been drawn to A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara as this novel also requires a trigger warning for sexual abuse and childhood trauma. The author has said, "I wanted to write her so that the damage we do to women would appear to you, as it appears to me, real and urgent and intolerable." I believe he has achieved this. So if you're comfortable with psychologically preparing yourself for some harrowing scenes then I urge you to give this one a go. One of my favourite fiction reads of 2017.