A Mother's Promise
A debut historical novel based on the true story of a young woman in 1920s Virginia fighting to reclaim the daughter she was forced to give up, a case that culminated in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Virginia, 1924. Ruth Ann Riley is 17 years old when she gives birth to a baby girl. Unwed and under-educated, she's deemed "feeble-minded" -- just like her own mother -- and sent to live in a state-run institution where the doctors decide she must be sterilized "for the greater good." But Ruth Ann won't give up her baby Annabel or the hope of future children without a fight, even though her hardscrabble life and sixth-grade education have in no way prepared her to take on the Supreme Court of the United States. As Ruth Ann comes of age in a daunting world and struggles with secrets and scandals in her past, she finds unexpected allies, friendship and the possibility of love in the most unlikely of places.
K.D. Alden weaves a harrowing and ultimately uplifting story based on a true American court case that had global ramifications. A reading group guide includes discussion questions, an author essay, and text from the actual historical documents of the case.
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