BOOK CLUB: Hold My Girl

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Charlene Carr took me on an emotional roller coaster with her book ‘Hold My Girl’.

Katherine and her husband Patrick had longed for a child of their own and felt that all their dreams had come true when Katherine became pregnant. 

This made the trial of fertility treatment so very worth it. When their beautiful baby girl Rose was born, that love for this new life was as strong as is to be expected. 

Rose was perfect. And, even though Katherine wished her daughter looked a little more like her, she was so very in love and thrilled that Rose took after her dad. 

Her pale skin and blue eyes were all Patrick and there was no hint of her biracial mother.

hold my girl

Tess has also been on the fertility journey but her story was sadly not so lucky.  After the loss of one baby after another, her husband announces that he is leaving her for another woman. To add salt to the wound the other woman is pregnant.

After somewhat coming to terms with her hurt, Tess decides to undergo another round of treatment – this time using donor sperm.  To her delight she becomes pregnant, but her joy does not last when her baby girl is born premature and is sadly just too young to survive.

Katherine and Tess know each other from the fertility clinic get-together group, but their paths cross and become joined when news breaks that there has been some sort of mix-up at the clinic. Embryos have been swapped!

This book shares the joys and heartbreaks of fertility treatments and building a family. You will question what is best for a child and what really makes someone a mother.

With the twists and turns your emotions will ride along leaving you questioning over and over what is the right thing to do.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading Hold My Girl by Charlene Carr. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Hold My Girl

  1. Charlene Carr’s ‘Hold My Girl’ is a brilliant exploration of the emotions, legalities and biological ties that bind when the eggs of 2 women are intentionally swapped by an employee at the fertility clinic they both attended.

    Katherine has always wondered if baby Rose was actually hers because Rose’s skin colour is so pale and Katherine is black. So when the call comes about the switch, her world comes to a stand still. She doesn’t want to ‘share’ Rose or give her up under any circumstances.

    The book is told from the alternating perspectives of Katherine and Tess (the other mum involved in the switch). While Katherine seems to have the perfect happy family, Tess is a fragile divorcee trying to get her life together.

    Throughout the story, you find yourself questioning how you’d react in the same situation and who is right or wrong, and what is best for Rose. I must say I found myself flipping my opinion on what should happen several times as events unfolded and the ending was a surprise in itself.

    I’ll definitely be looking for more of Charlene’s work, her writing was brilliant, emotive and engrossing and Hold My Girl is one of my favourite books of the year so far.

  2. Hold My Girl is a highly emotional read. After many years of IVF Katherine’s beautiful baby girl is about to turn one. Katherine’s life is perfect.
    Tess’s much wanted baby girl was still born at 22 weeks. Racked with grief Tess goes off the rails.
    Both women get a call that there has been a mix-up at the IVF clinic; their eggs were switched. What ensues is a heartbreaking account of the ups and downs of their lives and the battle for baby Rose.
    Charlene Carr wrote Hold My Girl after the birth of her pale skinned daughter and strangers asking her if she was her child. This got her to thinking, what if there was a mix up? What sort of moral dilemma would ensue? Who has rights, birth mother or biological mother?
    Hold My Girl is a remarkable story of the strength of women and the pull of motherhood.
    I was siding with one woman throughout the entire story and my loyalty never wavered.
    I read this whole novel with a heavy heart.

  3. Thank you for the opportunity to read Hold my Girl by Charlene Carr.

    This is a sad and very thought provoking story. Emotional and heart felt it is easy to see the pain of both Katherine and Tess and feel the grief/joy and conflict of the story as it unfolds.

    This is a well thought out and emotional book for any reader. The characters and the decisions they face as well as the judgement of people around them makes for a very interesting and thought provoking read. It also raises the question of what it takes to be a mother – and importantly what is a mother….

    I recommend this for anyone looking for something a bit different.

    Thanks again Beauty and Lace.

  4. My goodness, what a story! I know this isn’t a new thing, there have been many cases of mix up’s with IVF and at hospitals, but how on earth do you know who is right? Who should ‘keep’ the child? How can you give a child up, even if it is only part time for visitation? I know it happens, but as a mother, you don’t have a child expecting to have to share your child that way. Very well written with a very satisfying ending. I will be looking out for more books by this author. Thank you Beauty and Lace for letting me review this book >:o)

  5. It was with a bit of trepidation that I began this book because of the emotional journey I knew I was about to embark on. It was all that with lots of ups and downs. When I read, I invest in the characters so I empathised with both parties in this one.
    I found that I agreed on many points but also I become cross with decisions and choices from both parties which left me wondering how I would respond in this situation. I can’t tell you as it is not something Ive had to consider.
    This book was very thought provoking , insightful and emotionally charged.
    Highest of Praise from me.

  6. Hold my girl, follows the story of Katherine and Tess, who both struggle with infertility. While their eggs were at the IVF clinic, they were switched unbeknownst to them. They both had their eggs implanted. Sadly, Tess lost her baby halfway through the pregnancy however, Katherine gave birth to a beautiful baby girl . All the Katherine always joked and always wondered. Why is my baby skin tone so different to that of my own?
    When is discovered that the mixup between the eggs was not a mistake, the story, then follows. The thrilling struggle between Katherine and Tess for custody of their daughter. Here raises the question what is most important nurturing or biology?
    I found this story was that of a very interesting subject and it raise a lot of thought provoking questions however I felt like it just dragged on a little bit but that being said it gave you both women’s perspective of the situation. It’s definitely a book that I would read again.

  7. This book was very emotional from the beginning. Katherine wonders about Rose”s pale skin against her own but doesn’t put two and two together when she sees Tess’s pale skin, so much like Rose.
    Now it’s a battle to find out who is considered to be the “right” mother for Rose
    I enjoyed this book
    It was very different from those I usually read.

  8. Hold My Girl by Charlene Carr, what a well written book about such a heartbreaking and sad topic. This book was so well written it went into each of the mothers trials and tribulations at knowing a mix up had happened with their eggs and what was the right and moral way to deal with this little child, Rose. Her life now in turmoil and those of both her mothers. The way the mediation and court trial was written was very heartbreaking but real outlining how this would be worked out that would suit everyone was handled with such compassion.

    The story of Katherine never being able to have a child and then to finally have a perfect little girl… but always wondering why her skin tone was lighter than her own worried Katherine…. Then the story of Tess, such a hard life and then to also fall pregnant to only lose her child. The tender way the writer described the moments leading up to Tess having to say goodbye to little Hanna was heartbreaking but also so precious. The way the writer gave closure to also Katherine with Tess allowing Katherine to also experience and see what should have been her little girl, Hanna.

    An impossible situation of one little girl and two mothers… the story ended perfectly and showed the compassion of both mothers for their little girl. I can only say this was such a beautiful and heartbreaking story that has often been a reality to so many mothers. I applaud you Charlene Carr on the way you bought this story together.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to ready this book.

  9. Hold My Girl was an emotionally charged novel which centred on an IVF mishap and the after effects on those involved.

    I really liked the way that the chapters switched between the two mothers, giving an insight into their thoughts and feelings, and how it affected their day to day lives.

    As the novel progressed, more of the nature of the main characters came out and I found myself siding with one character then switching sides to the other. The final chapters really pulled on the heartstrings, and my heart went out to both characters.

    The novel was well written and progressed at a great pace. I would have loved to have read more of the technical and legal side but also realise that that would have detracted from the emotional pull.

    This was an interesting and thought provoking read that I think will appeal to many.

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