Cover Image: Hold My Girl

Hold My Girl

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Member Reviews

4.5 stars
I found this book utterly compelling, difficult to put down, and morally intense. I had no idea what resolution I would hope for if I were to hear about this situation in real life. Who *does* a baby belong with when a woman's egg is switched with another, fertilized, and implanted in another woman?? There were a lot of hot topics addressed in this fictionalized look at a very real type of life situation and path to parenthood for many people. I'd also warn about possible trigger warnings for those who have lost babies or struggle with infertility as well as other trigger warnings for rape, spousal cheating, alcohol abuse, and strained parent relationships.

I enjoyed the way the plot developed in this story and the characters became multi-faceted to me and I really felt myself wanting the best for all of them put into this impossible situation. Since only one friend of mine has read this, I shared most of the plot with my husband and particularly raved about how nice and novel it was to read a book set in the city we live in, Halifax. The places and locations mentioned put a smile on my face. This must be how New Yorkers feel all the time LOL.

Thank you so much to the author & publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a heartbreaking domestic drama in which two women discover their eggs were switched during an IVF procedure. Now they have to fight for custody of the child and things get complicated and messy. Recommended for fans of Jodi Picoult or Celeste Ng, this book is perfect for book clubs and was good on audio narrated by Kate Handford. My first book by this new to me Black Canadian author and I'm excited to read whatever she writes next! Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early digital copy in exchange for my honest review!
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I’m giving up halfway through. The writing style is quite good, but it’s a bit sad and I’m not fully invested in the story. It’s just not the right story for me right now.
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Hold My Girl had me at the edge of my seat (often having to close the book and step away for a moment) as we watch our two main characters Tess and Katherine find out their eggs have been switched after their IVF treatments. We sympathize with both characters as we hear their longings for the daughter they share (and the one they've lost) and their trials and tribulations both before and after the custody battle.
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The unthinkable happens at a fertility clinic...a mix-up of eggs that changes the lives of not only two women, but their families and friends as well. So well written with sensitive understanding and the portrayals of the two mothers is touching. Recommended reading.
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Two mothers caught in an impossible situation, Charlene Carr’s immersive page-turner deftly guides us through a nightmare situation inspired by her own experience with IVF and new-mother fear and paranoia. When news breaks that there was a purposeful switch at the clinic they used for fertility treatment and implantation Katherine instantly fears the worst, having previously questioned the features of her biracial daughter, Rose. What follows is a heart-wrenching journey through mediation, child services and the Canadian court system as Katherine and the biological mother Tess both fight for the daughter they’ve both gone through so much to have. The balance in this book was so well done, I found myself commiserating with everyone involved and the twists and turns all felt entirely plausible and heartbreakingly likely. I loved each mother’s story and found the back and forth POV between them kept me on the edge of my seat and just when I think I’m rooting for one over the other, forced into empathy and understanding for them both again. The underlying questions of racism, moral and ethical dilemmas surrounding a case like this and just what makes a mother, what a child deserves as part of us and as their own person… just so well done. I ripped through this book, was surprised and tearing up at the end. This would be great for bookclub discussion and would make an awesome movie… I anticipate big things for this one!

A great book by a local author set in my city, Halifax. Love it!

Thanks to @netgalley and @harpercollinsca for the review copy.
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3.75 stars. Well-written story about infertility and IVF involving two women - one the biological mother, the other the birth mother of a 1 year old  girl, the result of an intentional switch at the fertility clinic. Themes touched upon include the impacts of infertility and IVF on sense of self/self-worth, on families and on relationships.

The story is told from both women’s viewpoints which showed the many issues and emotions on both sides of the issue - to whom does the child belong? Should one of them get sole custody or should they share custody? The issue of race - one mother is black - is referenced but not really delved into. 

Overall, an interesting novel though I found that the story slowed down in the middle but picked back up with the court case over custody. In addition, I thought that writing in the first person point of view would have made the characters more understandable and relatable.

Thanks to Harper Collins Canada and Netgalley for this ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Ethical and personal dilemmas are at the forefront of Hold My Girl.
Canadian author Charlene Carr has written an absolute page-turner about an IVF procedure gone wrong.
Thank you to HarperCollins Canada and Netgalley for my eARC for review!
Katherine and Patrick Matheson, outwardly, have the perfect life - a solid marriage and one-year-old daughter Rose. But appearances hide the years of struggle and pain due to infertility and associated marital stress.
It's nearing Rose's first birthday when it's discovered eggs were switched at the IVF clinic. The Matheson's lives then become intertwined with that of Tess Sokolowski.
Hold My Girl features the dual narrative of Tess and Katherine, each woman having experienced losses and trauma, leading to the life of one little girl.
There's so much to unpack here, issues to be considered. What makes a parent - biology, or giving birth? Is race an issue when the child is not the same as her birth mother?
As there were no clear or easy answers, Hold My Girl is an absorbing read, with solidly written characters and many heart-wrenching moments. Note there are triggers associated with infertility, pregnancy loss, infidelity, rape, alcoholism, and family dynamics.
The author's note at the end of the book is also not to be missed.
For release on Jan. 24
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Carr is a Canadian author who makes her home in Nova Scotia. The novel features two women, both of whom have had trouble having children. Katherine is a black woman, married to a white man. They tried for years to have a child, and finally with the help of IVF they have a beautiful baby girl, Rose. Tess had IVF at the same time as Katherine, but unfortunately her daughter was stillborn.  Ten months later a nurse at the IVF clinic admits to switching the eggs and what is devastating news for Katherine, is a another chance for Tess. A custody battle ensues, secrets are revealed and the two women will have to figure out how to do what is best for Rose.  This is an emotional story that deals with motherhood, racism, parental expectations, mental health and difficult choices. It is a wonderful recommendation for fans of author's such as Jodi Picoult or Kelly Rimmer. I really enjoyed it.
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Hold My Girl by Charlene Carr is a heart wrenching story of two Canadian mother's who's eggs are switched during IVF.

Told in dual perspective, this story outlines the lengths each mother will take  to gain/maintain custody of her daughter.

I feel for both mothers in this story and am completely heartbroken for all the characters.

A compelling, though provoking novel that is well done given the sensitive topic.
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Hold My Girl by Charlene Carr would make a great book club choice as there would be so much to discuss and would create a great debate! 

Based in Halifax (very cool because not a lot of Canadian authors choose to write books outside of major cities), two women are brought together through the trials and tribulations of IVF, pregnancy loss and motherhood. Even as someone who has never gone through those experiences, Carr manages to bring about emotions that connect you to the characters, their struggles and the dilemma that faces them.  

This is a powerful story that reminds me so much of Jodi Picoult’s books, where the characters are faced with a moral dilemma. As we already know from the jacket cover, the two mothers’ eggs were switched at the IVF clinic. Katherine and Tess are faced with the hard truth of whose baby is it and how to navigate this new reality. 

Hold My Girl comes out January 24, 2023. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Canada for an advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review.
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For fans of Jodi Picoult and JoJo Moyes comes a tale of the true meaning of family. This is a very real, raw and emotional story surrounding two women, their IVF journey and what happens when their eggs are switched resulting in one little girl. 
This is not for the faint of heart but Carr wrote it in such a. Beautiful and powerful way that everyone will be reaching for the tissue box
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I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been slightly apprehensive about reading this one because of the subject matter. Especially after years of infertility and loss myself. I would warn anyone who is going through infertility, treatment, or has previously and may be triggered to go in with a guarded heart. 

What I wasn’t expecting was the way Carr so beautifully wrote this story. Hold My Girl was emotionally charged and heartbreaking but beautiful. I don’t think I’ve read another book where someone nailed the emotions of infertility and loss so completely. 

The important thing to note about this book is, you don’t have to be someone who has gone through infertility and loss to appreciate it. Actually, I encourage you to read it if you haven’t. The statistics for infertility and loss is alarming and not discussed enough. Here in Canada 1 in 6 will be affected and 1 in 4 will suffer a loss. I cannot thank Carr enough for writing this. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Canada for the ARC eBook in exchange for my honest review.
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A book that will be clouded by your own experiences with motherhood. Two moms, two losses, one baby and a mix up at the IVF clinic.  This book may be hard to read for some that are going through infertility right now, but I also think the author nailed the emotions and details that only someone who has been there, could write about.  For anyone who has lost a baby, you'll find your heart within this book. It brought 8,000 emotions to mind for me, and took me right back to the injections and fears and pain.  But also, to the joy and love. 4.5 stars for nailing what is a heartbreaking storyline with the perfect tone. There was one twist that I didn't think was necessary but that was a personal preference.

Thank you to the author and pub house for gifting me a copy in return for an honest review
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3.5 stars

Here I thought I knew about a lot of Canadian authors but somehow I missed Charlene Carr.

After reading the blurb I was prepared for an emotional read and for the first 50% I didn’t get that. The feels just weren’t there like I expected. The tone shifted and with that change I was feeling  some emotions. They came from secrets kept within and guilt/anger over a body that didn’t produce. The chain reaction that was caused by desire had a ripple affect on not just these 2 women but their family and friends as well.

Hold My Girl was an interesting story, it would make a great book club read with lots of things to talk about. But for me I would have loved more references to timing and it lacked that ‘unputdownable’ emotional feels I expected with characters that were likeable. While parts were predictable it didn’t have that wham factor for me.

Hold My Girl releases in just a few weeks. My thanks to Harper Collins CA for a digital arc (via NetGalley) in exchange for a honest review.
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I feel like a book club would love this one, so much to talk about and definitely would inspire a lively debate.

The characters were real and complex, with great arcs (with an exception or two) and there were a number of twists and enough suspense to keep me hooked. I enjoyed the writing style and loved that it was very obviously set in Halifax.

I will definitely be recommending this to fans of Jodi Picoult's or anyone looking for a novel that contemplates social issues.

Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins Canada for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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