Take My Hand (Paperback)Dolen Perkins-Valdez (author)
Disturbing and heartbreaking yet shot through with compassion and tenderness, Perkins-Valdez's immensely important novel - inspired by shocking real events - explores the links between racism and medical ethics in powerful and affecting prose.
Montgomery, Alabama. 1973. Fresh out of nursing school, Civil Townsend has big plans to make a difference in her community. At the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic, she intends to help women make their own choices for their lives and bodies.
But when her first week on the job takes her down a dusty country road to a tumbledown cabin, she's surprised to find that her new patients are just eleven and thirteen years old. Neither of the Williams sisters has even kissed a boy, but they are poor and Black, and for those handling their welfare benefits, that's reason enough to have the girls on birth control. As Civil grapples with her new responsibilities, she takes India and Erica into her heart and comes to care for their family as though they were her own. But one day she arrives at their door to discover the unthinkable has happened, and nothing will ever be the same.
Inspired by true events and a shocking chapter of American history, Take My Hand is a novel that will open your eyes and break your heart. An unforgettable story about love and courage, sisterhood and solidarity, it is also a timely and hopeful reminder that it only takes one person to change the world.
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 32 mm
'Dolen Perkins-Valdez is a brilliant writer in a class all by herself. I love her voice and how she makes the past feel immediate and relevant, because it is' - Terry McMillan, author of Waiting to Exhale
'Take My Hand is a gem: one of those rare and beautiful novels that walks the balance beam of heartbreak and hope. Dolen Perkins-Valdez can breathe life into history through fiction that adds deep and profound meaning to the past - and makes its relevance to the present meaningful and clear' - Chris Bohjalian, author of The Flight Attendant and Hour of the Witch
'In her newest novel, Dolen Perkins-Valdez probes the many ways institutional racism and classism inflicts lasting scars, especially on young Black women - and the grace, courage, and love needed to begin to heal those wounds. Deeply empathetic yet unflinching in its gaze, Take My Hand is an unforgettable exploration of responsibility and redemption, the dangers of good intentions, and the folly of believing anyone can decide what's best for another's life' - Celeste Ng, bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere
'Perkins-Valdez's latest is a piercing look into a shameful moment in America's history, and it could not be more timely. Her electrifying, masterful novel brims with fierce compassion and deserves attention and accolades galore. I will be recommending it to everyone I know' - Fiona Davis, author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue
'This powerful novel finds the humanity in one of the most inhumane chapters of American history. Take My Hand will enrage you. It will illuminate you. It just might redeem you. In the process, it will take your breath away. I don't say this often, but it's a must-read ' - Jamie Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
'Delicate and poetic, Dolen manages to fuse beauty and tragedy in her work, which makes her a masterful storyteller and gifted writer. In this story, Dolen speaks eloquently for those who, in being denied the right of having a choice and agency over their bodies, have lost their voice. This haunting tale, captured through the lens of an unforgettable narrator and a cast of memorable characters, will stay with you for a very, very long time' - Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun
'Moving, important, and timely, Take My Hand is both a poignant personal story and a riveting courtroom drama. By refusing to accept the status quo, big-hearted, idealistic Civil Townsend sets events in motion that eventually change hearts, minds, and lives, including her own. A perfect book-club pick.' - Christina Baker Kline, author of The Exiles
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“Profound and emotionally gripping.”
This powerful novel is based on a true story narrated by Civil Townsend, a nurse who then becomes a doctor, told within two time lines. In 1973, Civil is a nurse in Montgomery family clinic where Erica aged 13 and... More
“A moving and powerful page-turner”
In this book, Dolen Perkins-Valdez strikes a beautiful balance between heartbreak from past events and hope for the future as the novel goes between 1973 and 2016 in Southern US. I learnt a lot from this story and the... More
“Touching, character driven story about the treatment of poor Black Americans”
4.5 stars for Take My Hand, a story loosely inspired by the real life case of Relf v Weinberger. It is a touching story about a young Black nurse and the horrendous discovery she makes about two little Black girls in... More
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