Take my Hand and come to Alabama with Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Take my hand and read Dolen Perkins-Valdez
This novel is inspired by one of the most shocking cases in America I have ever heard of. It looks at of the most inhumane chapters of American history. In short, a young nurse starts to work at an Alabama clinic thinking she is going to help people and achieve her dreams of nursing and caring. However, she is soon embroiled in the lives of two young Black girls, who are mistreated by the clinic and soon become national headlines for all the wrong reasons….
Boarding Pass Information : Take My Hand
Destination : The mountain peak of Manaslu “Death Zone”Montgomery Alabama
Author guide: Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Genre: Inspired by true events and a shocking chapter of American history
I admit that I had never heard of the true story by which this novel is inspired. How the US forced young black girls to have sterlisations. How a government can dictate to young girls what to do with their bodies is shocking and is sadly relevant even today. This novel takes places in the 1960s and 1970s so this is recent history and that makes it all the more shocking!
We’re told the story of two young black girls from the perspective of a black doctor. Civil Townsed is a nurse who wants to help young girls with birth control and sex education and so thinks that working at this Alabama clinic is going to be where she can do that. The owners of the clinic however do not share her will to help. Flash forward a few years and it’s 2016 where Civil takes up the story as she looks back with sadness and tries to explain the impossible to her own daughter.
As a reader, be prepared to shed some tears as you meet Erica who is 13 and India who is 11. There is so much to discover in this novel and some, I must admit, I wish I had never found out. Who could use any young girl as a guinea pig? That’s what this is all about as the clinic uses drugs, programmes and trials on these girls that if you didn’t know really happened, you wouldn;t believe.
This is a heck of a powerful read. I shared the emotional rollercoaster of this with the characters. I was there in the courtroom holding my breath and hearing every whisper. Honestly, I don’t have the words to describe how I am feeling now I have finished the novel. Just that you need to read it. Everyone does.
Alabama and its slow, seemingly relazed Southern charm is anything but.