Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Take My Hand

The moment I saw this novel I knew it was already important and begging to be told. Based on true events that happened in this country in my lifetime, TAKE MY HAND is such a powerful telling of one family’s devastating descent through the boggled health care system in the seventies. To say this is shocking is a gross understatement. To say this story is compelling is also grossly understating. This is a story that everyone needs to know about and understand. It’s harrowing. It’s saddening. And a similar event actually happened.

When Civil Townsend finished nursing school in 1973, she was living in Montgomery, Alabama. All she wanted was to make a difference in her community. As a young black woman, the daughter of a black doctor, she wanted to help black women make good choices. She goes to work at the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic and her first patients live way outside the city and are living in what seems like a shed with a dirt floor. Their mom has died. They are living with their dad and grandmother. The girls are just eleven and thirteen and very immature. Civil has been sent to administer their monthly Depo Provera shots for birth control. Yes, for birth control, to children. And so the horror begins.

My gorgeous finished hard copy of TAKE MY HAND was provided by Berkley, a division of Penguin Random House, in exchange for an honest review. Honestly, I believe this amazing and shocking novel is bound for book glory! I loved it.

Below from Goodreads:

Inspired by true events that rocked the nation, a profoundly moving novel about a Black nurse in post-segregation Alabama who blows the whistle on a terrible wrong done to her patients, from the New York Times bestselling author of Wench.

Montgomery, Alabama 1973. Fresh out of nursing school, Civil Townsend has big plans to make a difference, especially in her African American 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 worn down one-room cabin, she’s shocked to learn that her new patients are children—just 11 and 13 years old. Neither of the Williams sisters has even kissed a boy, but they are poor and Black and for those handling the family’s welfare benefits that’s reason enough to have the girls on birth control. As Civil grapples with her role, she takes India, Erica and their family into her heart. Until one day, she arrives at the door to learn the unthinkable has happened and nothing will ever be the same for any of them.

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