For fans of Jodi Picoult, Kate Hewitt and Ashley Audrain, a heart-wrenching novel about two women whose eggs are switched during IVF
Katherine is a woman full of obsessions. Everything clean, everything perfect, all the time. After seven years of trying—and failing—to conceive, she finally gives birth to Rose, her IVF miracle child. But she’s afraid that Rose may not be her daughter; her pale skin doesn’t match Katherine’s own.
Tess never got her happy ending. She took on IVF alongside Katherine and a group of hopeful mothers, but her daughter, Hanna, was stillborn. After a series of poor choices, she’s divorced, broke and stuck in a job that’s below her skill set.
Ten months later, Katherine and Tess get a call from the fertility clinic that reveals shocking news: the two women’s eggs were switched. While Katherine’s perfect life beings to crumble around her, for Tess it’s the glimmer of hope she needs to get her life back on track. But it will take a custody battle to decide who deserves to be Rose’s mother, a battle that will push both women to the brink.
With themes of racial identity, loss and betrayal, this emotional novel centred around a difficult moral question beautifully explores the complexities of motherhood.
About the author
CHARLENE CARR lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and daughter. She has published nine novels and recently received grants from Arts Nova Scotia and the Canada Council for the Arts to write her next one.
- Unknown, CBC Books Best of Canadian Fiction
“Hold My Girl deftly explores the tribulations of motherhood through a compelling narrative that portrays both sides of a headline-making controversy about biology, motherhood, and race. Thoughtful, tense, and affecting, Charlene Carr has skillfully crafted a page-turning story with compassion at its centre."
— Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push
"In Hold My Girl, Charlene Carr unflinchingly pulls the reader into the broken hearts and spiraling minds of two mothers who are thrust into an unimaginable situation. With poignant insight and—at times—unsettling accuracy, Carr has crafted not only a compelling, intensely propulsive page turner, but a deeply emotional exploration into the very essence of what it means to be a mother. I was spellbound from start to finish." — Heather Marshall, author of the #1 instant bestseller Looking For Jane
“Charlene Carr pulls off an extraordinary emotional tightrope walk with these imperfect characters and the impossible situation they’re thrust into. Each fresh twist had me shifting my sympathies until the very end. Hold My Girl is a beautiful, unflinching examination of what it means to be a mother.” — Shelby Van Pelt, New York Times bestselling author of Remarkably Bright Creatures
“Hold My Girl is an emotionally complex, absolute triumph of a novel that raises thought-provoking questions about what it means to be a mother, a wife, and a friend. Charlene Carr writes fearlessly and brilliantly from the heart about motherly love, loss, and difficult moral choices. Her characters are so real, you ache for them as they struggle to do the right thing in impossible circumstances. I was riveted from the first page and couldn’t stop reading. I needed to know how this beautiful, heart-wrenching book would end. It’s an absolute must-read.” — Julianne MacLean, USA Today bestselling author of A Curve in the Road
“Hold My Girl is a deeply resonant story of loss, infertility, and the complexities of motherhood. . . .For those who have experienced the loss of a baby or those who have endured the trials of IVF, you will see yourself reflected in both Katherine and Tess. For readers who haven’t, you will find renewed compassion and empathy for those in your life who have. I’ve been waiting for a book like this to land on my nightstand, and I am grateful it finally exists. I couldn't have loved it more.” — Joanne Gallant, author of A Womb in the Shape of a Heart
“Charlene Carr’s poignant novel, Hold My Girl, holds nothing back in the story of two mothers and one daughter. A story that is both every mother’s dream and every mother’s nightmare, Carr bares the soul of her characters in ways few writers can as she exposes their darkest secrets and desires. An emotional and thought-provoking read I will not soon forget.” — Barbara Conrey, USA Today bestselling author of Nowhere Near Goodbye
“Hold My Girl is a pulsating page turner of a novel which will forever change how you think about motherhood, biology and family. I tore through the pages of this gorgeous gripping story of who gets to be a mother, and how instinct, love and longing will either break us, or transform us—an incredible book!" — Christy Ann Conlin, author of Heave, Watermark and The Speed of Mercy
“What would you do if the child you birthed is not biologically yours and the other mother wants her back? Hold My Girl poses that very question in this breathtaking, gut-wrencher of a page-turner. Charlene Carr deftly crafts this story of motherhood, identity, and family ties with unflinching honesty. With every twist and turn that unfolds, you’ll be left emotionally invested in and sympathizing with both Kathryn and Tess, two flawed characters as real as the rest of us. This is a story that’ll stick with you long after you finish reading.” — Kerry Lonsdale, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Everything We Keep
“A tense, captivating book that will both set your heart racing and wrench it apart.” — Ronali Collings, author of Love & Other Dramas
“For fans of Ashley Audrain’s The Push and Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, this breathtakingly taut story will pin you to your seat. Charlene Carr plumbs the deepest secrets of motherhood with an unflinching eye, while delivering a poignant exploration of how much our hearts can carry. Sure to inspire engrossing book club discussions, this novel will stay with you long after you read the last word.” — Marissa Stapley, New York Times bestselling author of Lucky
“In Hold My Girl, Carr does a remarkable job exploring an emotionally fraught topic in a way that is both deeply thought-provoking while also relatable. In the vein of Jodi Picoult, she weaves a tale where there is empathy for both sides of the story, forcing the reader to put themselves in the characters' shoes and ask the question: what would I do? A poignant look at motherhood, identity and what it means to be a family, Hold My Girl will linger with you long after you close the pages.” — Kalyn Fogarty, author of What We Carry
“A compelling and thought-provoking read. In Hold My Girl, Charlene Carr dares to ask What if? when there are no easy answers. This is a page-turner of a story that explores motherhood, vulnerability, and colourism in the age of assisted fertility. Congratulations to Charlene on turning a real-life thought into a fictional scenario to such great effect!” — Charmaine Wilkerson, bestselling author of Black Cake
“An unforgettable story about two strong women thrown into an impossible situation. Carr, a compelling storyteller at the top of her game, begins with a narrative that could come straight from the news and effortlessly mixes in aspects of race, culture, class, and mental health to add irresistible tension and complexity. I found myself both moved by the characters and spurred to examine my own assumptions and biases, as the story moves gracefully toward its surprising yet inevitable conclusion.” — Barbara Josselsohn, bestselling author of The Lilac House and The Cranberry Inn
“A future classic of fertility noir.” — Leah Hazard, Sunday Times bestselling author of Hard Pushed: A Midwife's Story
“A page turner of a novel that will break your heart.” — Julie Ma, author of Richard + Judy's 'Search For a Bestseller' winner Happy Families
“A tender exploration of secrets, loss, and motherhood, and the lengths the heart will go to protect what it has found. A moving case study of what it means to truly move with empathy, grace, and compassion within those gray unspoken spaces of our lives.” — Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström, international bestselling author of In Every Mirror She's Black
"I enjoyed Hold My Girl. I found it a tender and absorbing novel with engaging characters that twists the heart. It's unafraid to address difficult issues that go to the core of what makes us human." — Rachel Hore, Sunday Times bestselling author of A Beautiful Spy
“A gripping, thorny premise that explores motherhood and its primal tug. It’s twisty and forensic but also wise and moving.” — Beth Morrey, author of The Love Story of Missy Carmichael