Hold My Girl by Charlene Carr
A novel about racial identity, loss and betrayal
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. (From HarperCollins Publishers)
Charlene Carr is a Toronto-raised writer and author based in Nova Scotia whose work explores truth in fiction. She is the author of several independently published novels and novellas. Her first novel with a major publisher is Hold My Girl. CBC Books named her a "writer to watch" in 2023.