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‘Unforgettable’ Celeste Ng
‘One hell of a book’ Stylist
‘Heartbreaking and utterly immersive’ Kirsty Capes
‘Deeply moving’ AJ Pearce
‘Wonderful’ Cathy Rentzenbrink
‘Magnificent’ Bonnie Garmus
‘Brims with hope’ Elle
‘Storytelling at its finest’ Glamour



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.


Readers have been captivated by TAKE MY HAND too:

***** ‘Incredibly powerful, moving and heartbreaking’
***** ‘Realistic historical fiction at its best’
***** ‘Fans of The Colour Purple, The Help, Where Crawdads Sing and To Kill A Mockingbird will love this’
***** ‘Stunning, shocking, absolutely fantastic novel . . . I could not put this down!’
***** ‘Definitely a must-read. So, so moving. Can’t recommend highly enough’


Good Housekeeping, The books we're looking forward to in 2022
Inspired by a real life case, this is the story of two sisters aged 12 and 14 who were sterilised without consent in Alabama in 1973, a case that shed light on a shocking chapter in American history
Stylist, The fiction books you can’t miss in 2022
Soon-to-be classic . . . shot through with spirit and hope, it's one hell of a book
AARP Sisters
Dolen Perkins-Valdez pens a powerfully emotional tale that calls upon the many ways Black women create sisterhoods. The strength and courage the characters exhibit will stay with readers for a long time
Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry
It is Civil's determination and resilience that imbue the book with undeniable power and grace. I cheered out loud!
Irish Times
An impressive arrival . . . This is a book about choice, freedom and forgiveness, that pulls threads of history together, and in doing so, catapults its ideas forward . . . As with all good historical fiction, Take My Hand speaks to the now'
Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun
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
Robert Jones, Jr., New York Times bestselling author of The Prophets
When you know Dolan Perkins-Valdez is writing a book, you know that it is going to be a spectacular thing. And that is the case with Take My Hand. Conveyed as softly as a familial conversation, this is a work that makes difficult things endurable. Perkins-Valdez relays untold pain honestly, astutely, but most of all, gently, like a sage would. That is another way of saying that she crafts this book with great truth and wisdom. As a result, Take My Hand is the kind of rare, elevating, illuminating, useful art that we would all do well to grasp for dear life.
Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
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
Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code
Take My Hand will break your heart and lift your soul. A young nurse with big dreams of helping her community comes to an Alabama clinic and is immediately embroiled in the lives of two young Black girls, caught first in the trap of rural poverty and then in the spotlight of a national court case as their mistreatment at the clinic's hands comes out into the open. Dolen Perkins-Valdez is a consummate storyteller: profound, transcendent, heart-wrenching.
Irish Examiner
Compelling . . . A gut-punch of a book, heartrending and suspenseful in turn
Extraordinary and powerful . . . a must-read
Chrissy Ryan, BookBar
Take My Hand moved me so much. It has everything I love in a novel: characters that you love spending time with, a story that moves you and sweeps you along, something to learn about, and a huge amount of heart. It's rare that a book about something so awful can leave you feeling so hopeful. It will make you want to change the world for the better - it certainly changed me
AJ Pearce, author of Dear Mrs Bird
A deeply moving novel about a reprehensible time, Dolen Perkins-Valdez writes with such shattering eloquence that Take My Hand is impossible to put down. I have absolutely no doubt that this is a story that will stay with me for a very long time
Chris Bohjalian, bestselling author of The Flight Attendant and Hour of the Witch
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
Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue
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
Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love
A wonderful novel. Moving, powerful and completely absorbing - I cared deeply about all the characters and rooted for them to the last page
Kirsty Capes, author of Careless
Arresting, horrifying, heartbreaking and utterly immersive. It will make you want to scream at the sky
Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of The Exiles
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.
Terry McMillan, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Waiting to Exhale
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
The top 30 books that everyone will be reading in 2022, Glamour UK
An utterly gripping tale from start to finish, Take My Hand is storytelling at its finest.
Celeste Ng, bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere
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