Welcome back to DELUX READS a favorite of many DELUX readers that we decided to bring back after being inspired by an old friend. Here will will share recommendations of our favorite books our contributors and staff recommend as well as locations you can visit or order them online. We hope you enjoy our November Book of the Month recommendation Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins Valdez! You can pick it up here with our friends at EyeseeMe Bookstore!


Take My Hand is a historical fiction Novel and follows the life of Civil Townsend, a nurse in the early 1970’s. Although the story journeys through many decades, a good portion is settled around Civil’s earliest job as a nurse at a women’s clinic in the South.

Narrated by the main character, the reader is brought into the world of Civil, daughter of a doctor and artist. The book brings you into a situation that changes Civil’s life forever. On one of Civil’s earliest appointments, she is burdened with the task of inoculating two young girls in rural Alabama with the birth control shot, Depo-Provera. Being naïve and green to the healthcare world, Civil assumes the shots are safe and effective. As she learns more from supporting characters in the story, she is horrified by her role in the devastation of the Williams family.

Take My Hand brings back familiar stories of the Tuskegee Experiments, which is a fresh story from when this book takes place, it includes the recollection of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as other historical realities occurring during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.

When reading this you begin to have more insight into the history of the black experience with trust of doctors and the government. The way Perkins-Valdez weaves the story through the decades, taking you on an emotional rollercoaster is definitely worth the read.

About the Author

Photo by Norman Jones

Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the New York Times bestselling author of Wench and Balm. She was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for fiction, and she was awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She lives in Washington, DC with her family.


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M Lyons Smith
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