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A nurse at the Family Planning Clinic in Montgomery Alabama, Civil Townsend is passionate about putting choice into women’s hands. She brings the option of birth control to their doorsteps, and with it the right to determine their own destinies. Or so she believes.

When she is assigned to administer birth control to two school-age Black girls, the Williams sisters, who live off an old unpaved road in a shack without running water, Civil can’t help but feel uneasy. She grows close to the family and becomes fiercely invested in their well-being. And then she makes a shocking discovery: the girls have been involuntarily sterilized. Civil is horrified that such a terrible mistake could have taken place, and vows to get to the bottom of it. She soon learns that this is no isolated event but a pattern, far more serious than she could ever have imagined, targeting poor Black women. Could her clinic be responsible? Had she and her fellow Black nurses been complicit? No matter how ugly, Civil is determined for the truth to be brought to light.

Based on true events, Take My Hand brims with hope, compassion, and the burning pursuit of justice.

Reviews

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, #1 New York Times bestselling 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, bestselling 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, New York Times bestselling 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, New York Times bestselling 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