eBook - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:

With the heart, daring, and evocative atmosphere of Winter's Bone and True Grit, and driven by the raw, whip-smart voice of Percy James, a blistering debut about a fearless sixteen-year old girl whose search for her missing mother leads to an unexpected discovery, and a life or death struggle in the harsh frozen landscape of the Upper Midwest.

As a blizzard bears down, Percy James sets off to find her troubled mother, Carletta. For years, Percy has had to take care of herself and Mama--a woman who's been unraveling for as long as her daughter can remember. Fearing Carletta is strung out on meth and that she won't survive the storm, Percy heads for Shelton Potter's cabin, deep in the woods of Northern Michigan. A two-bit criminal, as incompetent as he his violent, Shelton has been smoking his own cook and grieving the death of his beloved Labrador, Old Bo.

But when Percy arrives, there is no sign of Carletta. Searching the house, she finds Shelton and his girlfriend drugged into oblivion--and a crying baby girl left alone in a freezing room upstairs. From the moment the baby wraps a tiny hand around her finger, Percy knows she must save her--a split-second decision that is the beginning of a dangerous odyssey in which she must battle the elements and evade Shelton and a small band of desperate criminals, hell-bent on getting that baby back.

Knowing she and the child cannot make it alone, Percy seeks help from Carletta's ex, Portis Dale, who is the closest thing she's ever had to a father. As the storm breaks and violence erupts, Percy will be forced to confront the haunting nature of her mother's affliction and finds her own fate tied more and more inextricably to the baby she is determined to save.

Filled with the sweeping sense of cultural and geographic isolation of its setting--the hills of fictional Cutler County in northern Michigan--and told in Percy's unflinching style, Sweetgirl is an affecting exploration of courage, sacrifice, and the ties that bind--a taut and darkly humorous tour-de-force that is horrifying, tender, and hopeful.

Publisher: Ecco Press,, 2016.
ISBN: 9780062400840
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file, rda


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Oct 28, 2017

I'm going to be upfront about this one. This book isn't for me. I read to escape, and this book was just too real for me. It spoke a truth and told of a problem. Baby's are neglected by drug addicted parents. Parents abandon their children in their desperation for more drugs. Drugs are ugly, and addictive, and hurt the ones you love. The truth is ugly, and in all honesty, I try to escape ugly when I choose my books. So why did I read this, when it so obviously isn't the type of book I would normally read...because I had to. Sometimes you don't have a choice--this was one of those cases.

Mulhauser is a very talented author. He made this story so real that I nearly froze reading it. (Did I also forget to mention--I hate the cold, being cold, and reading about the cold? Well, count that as another strike.) He plunges you into the middle of a blizzard with a teenage heroine, and a baby who needs rescued. The blizzard and the cold seep into you as you read. Every step the character take is so realistic (I had to curl up around a space heater to thaw out). The characters are so well developed, you fill like you have known them your entire life. He makes these people real. They are flawed and human and so well drawn you would know them if you met them on the street.

Brilliant writer, brilliant details, and well developed characters. If I were reviewing on quality, this would be a 5 star review. Unfortunately, since this is my review and the stars rate on how well I liked it, I can't give it more than a 3.

Still if you like your realistic fiction gritty, detailed, and written so so well that you feel like you are part of the story, this would be a good book for you.

Apr 21, 2017

Sweet Girl was a great, thrilling, adventurous book, I read it in two days. The only thing I did not like about this book was that there were a lot of bad words (like really bad words). But over all I loved the adventure. I would recommend this book to anyone 15 and older.

Apr 06, 2017

Dark, dramatic, and full of captivating dialogue. Mulhauser has a way of capturing the bleakness of a northern Michigan winter.

Mar 27, 2017

The thrilling action of this novel is balanced by moments of impactful emotional insight. Even the lowliest antagonists are twisted to and fro to shed light on their many facets and for me, this made the story very believable. The main antagonist, Shelton Potter, is a particularly tragic character who, while undeniably flawed, is also deeply misunderstood and in possession of a much gentler spirit than the other characters realize. In fact, many of the best moments and quotes in the story came from Shelton Potter including my favorite line: "... a breath or two before his last and summative thought, his bitter and tragic final realization, and it was only this; that so few had ever glimpsed the deepest and most beautiful intentions of his heart."

Feb 04, 2017

An insight into the emotions and thoughts of people on drugs and what it sometimes takes to get out of a generational pattern. Okay dry first sentence, the book is also entertaining and has some humor. I was motivated to read this book because Lynn Neary of NPR suggested this title on Dec 22, 2016: "Still Puzzled By The Election? Authors Prescribe Fiction For Better Understanding."

Oct 07, 2016

What a great debut! Believable characters, natural voices, and the dialogue is sometimes funny, sometimes heart-wrenching. A palette of seriously messed-up people for whom Mulhauser manages to create great tenderness.

Sep 02, 2016

I loved this book. Critics did not rate this book high. I thought it was a mile a minute thrill ride. Meth heads do act like the "comic relief " in this book but they behave that way in real life,too. The antics of these addicts are sadly too close to brain fried speed freaks. The dumb moves by them are totally possible and do not down play the serious nature of the action and story. Short and beautiful. ( if you like southern gothic novels now & then)

Apr 24, 2016

This book was exactly what I thought it was going to be, a quick read about methheads in the hills. It had some humor and a good story, I enjoyed it as a Sunday diversion. There were some interesting tiny mistakes in the story but if you don't try to pick it apart it is alright.

Feb 27, 2016

Braving a northern Michigan blizzard to search for her missing meth-addicted mother, Percy James stops by the cabin of two drug addicts and flees with their endangered baby. This triggers a dangerous race from the elements and a band of desperate criminals.

This is a great book, and with a great story, indelible characters, and atmosphere galore, the screenplay for a movie could almost write itself.

I highly recommend this novel.

Feb 13, 2016

I have mixed feelings about this book. Really liked the parts about Percy and Portis trying to get Jenna to safety. But the bumbling bad guys they are running from detracted from the seriousness of their plight. They were almost like comic relief. But overall, I liked Percy's story. A good book for a cold, winter day.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at My Library

To Top