Sweetgirl // Travis Mulhauser
Percy James set off one day to find her mother, Carletta, whom, for all of Percy's life, has struggled with addiction. Percy fears that her mother is caught in the snow storm, strung out on meth, deep in the woods of Northern Michigan.
While Percy is looking for her mother, she comes across a baby, abandoned and freezing in a room located at a drug dealers farmhouse. She makes a split second decision to save this baby girl, and try and take the child to safety. Percy endures the isolation of a blizzarding, burning cold climate, and the sacrifice of her own life as she desperately tries to evade a small band of criminals that are tracking her down
Thoughts // Review
This book was far more witty, warm, and funny, than it had any right to be. Although this book was filled with almost numbingly dark circumstances, the author has an incredible talent for respectfully lightening situations by using humor; but, also by using the warmth of love, hope, tenderness, and the chance of change.
I thought Percy was an excellent protagonist. She was brave, courageous, and everything I would hope for in a daughter someday. She took on the life that she was given, and chose to be better. She chose to be the change that breaks the pattern. I felt a swell of pride and admiration for her as she braved her journey, and never let anything stand against her.
It was interesting to see the narration from Shelton's (the drug dealer in pursuit of baby Jenna) perspective as he tries to rationalize every decision that he is making, no matter how absurd or out of this world it may sound to someone who is sober and well. At times I found myself feeling sorry for him as he tried to make sense of his decisions, and then had to remember that everything happening to him, he was doing to himself. The author did an excellent job with his character and making him, and the lifestyle he lives, feel real and authentic.
As Percy endures these life threatening circumstances to save the life of this baby, I can't help but see Percy trying to save her own life. This baby that she is trudging through the deep woods of Northern Michigan, is a baby that could have very well ended up living the same life that Percy lives (if the baby would have survived to be a teenager). Percy was doing for this sweetgirl, what she could never have done for herself.
Subjectively, this is probably my favorite book of 2017 so far, and I adored the protagonist, Percy, as she explores her own courage and sacrifices everything to save a life.