Take My Hand


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.

In stock


‘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’

Additional information

Weight 0.48 kg
Dimensions 22 × 14 × 3.8 cm










Hardback original


813.6 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K