Hold You Down

A Novel

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Pub Date 01 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 15 Nov 2022
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Griffin


Hold You Down is an edgy novel from rising star Tracy Brown about the perils of love and the ties that bind…

New York City. Late 1980s to early 1990s.

Mercy and Lenox Howard have always only had each other. Growing up on the mean streets of Harlem with an absentee mother meant that they had to have each other's backs. Now young, smart mothers they are determined to survive in New York City while raising their two sons, who have bright futures ahead of them.

Mercy is the quiet, straight laced hospital administrator, struggling to make ends meet. At night and on weekends, she pours her heart into her cooking and her dream of owning her own restaurant. Lenox is the diva, the wild child, looking for excitement and her big come up in life and love. Their boys, Deon and Judah, have been raised more like brothers than cousins, forging a bond that is unbreakable.

When Lenox heads down a path that she believes will bring success and power, it changes the entire course of her life and her family’s life forever. As a result of their mother’s choices, cousins Deon and Judah soon find themselves in uncharted territory.

Hold You Down is an edgy novel from rising star Tracy Brown about the perils of love and the ties that bind…

New York City. Late 1980s to early 1990s.

Mercy and Lenox Howard have always only had each...

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ISBN 9781250834935
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 88 members

Featured Reviews

I have enjoyed almost everything I’ve read from this author so I was excited to be able to get my hands on an ARC of her latest. I read the description and was prepared for a fun jaunt through the 80s and my childhood. I got that and more! I did not expect the depth and richness to the story. While the book wasn’t entirely unpredictable, the way we arrived toward the ending was thoughtful, intense, and consuming. Very good book and I will recommend to others when it’s released for sure.

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Tracy Brown never ever fails me. Her writing is literary- she is the queen of urban fiction to me because her writing is literary. Her prose, while filled with urban references and situations, is never basic. White lines will be one of my favorite books by her, and this can stand up with that classic. Please read this cautionary tale about family, friendship, and love.

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Tracey Brown has done it again. She writes stories that take you through an emotional rollercoaster. Hold You Down did not disappoint. A sister bond is strong and fierce. That's where we find Mercy and Lenox Howard-sticking together through childhood traumas and adult pains. The sisters look out for each other the best way they can, but individual choices soon distance them in a way that is not repairable. What do you do when you want a better life for your family and make unwise sacrifices that end up tearing a family apart? This story was gut wrenching and it showed that sometimes no matter how hard you try, things sometimes just don't work out. A coming of age tail deeply rooted in pain and unfortunate circumstances is what the author has rendered, making it an excellent read.

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The first thing that struck me as interesting with Brown’s book was, how much she took literally from New York City. From using actual hospital names in New York City for her characters. Mercy, the eldest sister is named after Mercy Hospital in what we call “Strong Island.” Whereas Lenox the younger of the two is named after Lenox Hill Hospital, in the “City.”

The foundation of the story centers around the bond these two sisters have. Raising their two boys together in the projects of Staten Island, theirs is a story that is not uncommon growing up in the city. What is uncommon is that Brown is finally telling a story of how life really is. How easy it is to stray from the straight and narrow and be enticed by that fast and easy money. How hard it is for a single parent to make ends meet for your child. Or to have to worry that your child may not make it home safely from school. It is just the way of the “Street Life” (Like the song says)

Lenox thought she found that quick route out, but she should have known better; there is no quick way out. There are only two ways out of that life, Death, or Jail, you choose. As a mother she should have known better. But this was fiction, unfortunately what Brown has written is all too real.

Her story is about the love between two sisters. How they have always been there for one another, and how that special type of love has passed on to their boys. As far as the boys are concerned, even though they were cousins they were so close that they should have been brothers. Their closeness had stemmed from their mothers, that same type of hold me down type of relationship that they had.
But in the end, where did it leave either of them?

Brown tells a blast from the past with brutal honesty. Based on one person’s actions, an entire family is ripped from existence and left only with confusion, anger, and turmoil. Filled with heartbreaking, emotional, and devastating results.

Damn! Brown gives us a total “Tearjerker” of a novel.

Astonishingly Captivating!

Stupendously Written! Each character will move you like you have never been moved before.

This book is so thought provokingly written, it will Blow Your Mind…

Cannot say enough about this book.

Brown is one “Hell” of an author


One of the best books of 2022

Kudos to you Brown!


I play the street Life
Because there’s no place I can go
Street life
It’s the only life I know
Street life
And there’s a thousand cards to play
Street life
Until you play your life away!!!!!!!

Thank you to NetGalley/Tracy Brown/St. Martin’s Press St. Martin’s Press.Griffin for this “Amazing” eARC in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are of my own volition.
Song: Street Life
Vocals By: Randy Crawford

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This is one of the best books I’ve read this year. May be THE best. I will never forget these characters, or the way my heart broke and repaired itself, then broke again. Tracy Brown writes characters that are so deeply layered! I will be recommending this book to every person who asks (or even those who don’t)!

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