Travis Mulhauser

Percy is sixteen and used to her mama disappointing her. But this time her mama’s been gone for nine days and she’s been seen up at Shelton Potter’s farmhouse. Which can only mean she’s strung out on meth again, and who knows when she’ll be back.

A blizzard rolls in and Percy jumps in her pickup and sets off for the farmhouse. She finds Shelton and a woman passed out on the floor, sleeping off the latest binge. But no sign of her mama.

Percy heads upstairs and finds a neglected baby girl, in urgent need of care and attention. Percy knows she has no choice. She has to take the baby and get her to a hospital as soon as she can.

But the blizzard shows no sign of stopping and soon her pickup is snowed in. Now she’s on foot and before long two-bit criminal Shelton wakes up and heads out with four of his associates, on the hunt for whoever has taken the baby . . .

Taut, darkly humorous and told in Percy’s unflinching voice, Sweetgirl is a moving exploration of courage and sacrifice that is horrifying, tender, and hopeful.

Reviews of Sweetgirl

  • ‘So, so compelling. Read-in-a-day, stay-up-all-night compelling’ Stylist

    ‘Darkly humorous . . . this book must be read’ Literary Review

    ‘Blackly comic . . . featuring echoes of True Grit’s Mattie Ross and Winter’s Bone’s Ree Dolly, Percy is a fearless, funny and stubborn leading lady’ Shortlist

    ‘Compulsively readable . . . finish the first chapter and you will be hooked’ Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs and Beneath the Bonfire

    ‘If you’re a fan of Charles Portis and Denis Johnson this book is exactly what you’ve been waiting for’ Brock Clarke, author of The Happiest People in the World

    ‘Gritty, compelling . . . Mulhauser depicts his people and their landscape with uncompromising fidelity’ Ron Rash, author of Above the Waterfall

    ‘This novel comes on like the blizzard at its centre, and leaves you dazzled and dazed not only by how much Travis Mulhauser knows, but how deeply he cares’ Michael Parker, author of All I Have in This World

    ‘There’s a big old neon heart pulsing on every page of Sweetgirl, like the sign to a bar you can’t help but enter. I couldn’t stop turning the pages’ Lindsay Hunter, author of Ugly Girls and Don’t Kiss Me

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