Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser

Review published on May 12, 2016.

This is the story of Percy whose mother is an alcoholic and occasional drug user. Percy feels she has to stay and look after her mother, but is used to her going walkabout. When she disappears in a snow storm, Percy goes looking for her at one of her haunts. Once there, she finds two people zonked out on drugs (neither are her mother) and an abandoned baby near an open window getting soaked in snow. The baby has very bad nappy rash, and appears to be running a temperature.

Percy then decides to take the baby to hospital, and safety. However she is followed by thugs trying to get the baby back, and track her through the woods, and the journey turns out to be very difficult.

The blurb on this book says it is full of “black humour” and there is certainly plenty of that. The description of the dog’s dead body is awful and stomach churning, as is the state of the baby’s body under a very wet nappy. It is gritty, and compelling, but somehow doesn’t really resonate with me.

There may be some details that a bookgroup could look at, but they would need very strong stomachs.

Sue Goult
Personal 3
Group 3

Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser
Fourth Estate 9780008142353 hbk Feb 2016

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