WINNER OF THE ITW THRILLER AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL
“My Sweet Girl pushes the boundaries of what a thriller can do.”—The Washington Post
“Fiendish [and] full of twists…. Sri Lankan author Amanda Jayatissa keeps us guessing and worrying until the very end.” —The New York Times
“A thriller centered on the meaning of identity and all the layers it can have.”—NPR
Paloma thought her perfect life would begin once she was adopted and made it to America, but she’s about to find out that no matter how far you run, your past always catches up to you…
Ever since she was adopted from a Sri Lankan orphanage, Paloma has had the best of everything—schools, money, and parents so perfect that she fears she'll never live up to them.
Now at thirty years old and recently cut off from her parents’ funds, she decides to sublet the second bedroom of her overpriced San Francisco apartment to Arun, who recently moved from India. Paloma has to admit, it feels good helping someone find their way in America—that is until Arun discovers Paloma's darkest secret, one that could jeopardize her own fragile place in this country.
Before Paloma can pay Arun off, she finds him face down in a pool of blood. She flees the apartment but by the time the police arrive, there's no body—and no evidence that Arun ever even existed in the first place.
Paloma is terrified this is all somehow tangled up in the desperate actions she took to escape Sri Lanka so many years ago. Did Paloma’s secret die with Arun or is she now in greater danger than ever before?
Sri Lankan author Jayatissa debuts with a dark, twisty psychological thriller. Thirty-year-old Paloma Evans was adopted at 12 from an orphanage in Sri Lanka by wealthy, loving American parents. Paloma's life should be perfect, but she's never felt she deserves her privileged life. After her parents go on an extended charity tour of Sri Lanka, Paloma drinks herself into blackouts, and perhaps hallucinations. Or are they? When she discovers her roommate murdered in her San Francisco apartment, she calls the police and passes out in the hallway. But the police find nothing. The body has disappeared without a trace. The building super allows Paloma to review the hallway surveillance tape, and the only person she sees is herself, taking cleaning supplies from the supply closet. Meanwhile, she's also started spotting Mohini, a mythic evil spirit who terrified her when she was a child in Sri Lanka. Paloma is either losing her grip on reality, or her secret past has caught up with her. Jaytissa expertly ratchets up the tension. Noir fans will find a lot to like.)