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Sweetgirl    by Travis Mulhauser order for
by Travis Mulhauser
Order:  USA  Can
Ecco, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I found it very hard to put a label of any kind on the novel Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser. The story is a hard one to read, but one that you cannot put down. I ended up sorry that it wasn't longer.

Percy James is the Sweetgirl in question. She is plagued by an alcoholic mother who can disappear in a moment and move in with someone who will supply her with alcohol and/or drugs. As long as those things last, she's good with her habitat. Percy worries about her Mama and tries to get her sober and clean. A hard task. Doubly hard for a teenager who is understandably old beyond her years. This makes a difficult story to read but one that won't let you go.

Percy tracks Mama to a well-known house of drugs, where instead of Mama she finds an infant whose mother is passed out on the floor. Concerned for the child, she wraps it up and steps out of the farmhouse into a blizzard. She manages to find help from an old family friend. The reader follows Percy in her plight to rescue a baby who shows signs of neglect. I became as concerned with that infant's welfare as our teen heroine did.

Sweetgirl is a debut novel by Travis Mulhauser!! This author has burst upon the world with a work as good as any long-time writer could hope to achieve. It has pathos galore, yet also the humor that the average person needs to survive. Mulhauser has provided both in abundance. My only complaint is that I wanted more. But the author knew just when to end his heart-rending but delightful story. Please, Mr. Mulhauser, I know this story is told. But keep writing.

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