Cover Image: Take My Hand

Take My Hand

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Member Reviews

A sad but inspiring story.  At this particular time it has an impact on you.  I found this very difficult after having lost someone dear to me this year.  However beautifully written
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Kerry and Pat met at University and continued their friendship into adulthood.  They years later both their Sons have been diagnosed with life threatening illnesses.  They both message each other as their lives are crashing down around them.  It makes my Mothers heart break for the both of them. They are both suffering devastation and they are trying to be there for each other.  Although their diagnosis were very different and involves the family in different ways you were praying for good endings for both.  It was a hard read, very emotional, but areas you will always remember and hope you will never go through this kind of pain in your family.  Thank you Net Galley for allowing me to read and review this book.
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This is a beautifully written heartfelt book described the most incredibly painful experiences of two Mums, and a deep friendship revealing the incredible women they both must be. It had me sobbing, but I agree it is an incredibly important story to tell.
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Firstly a huge thank you to the publishers for approving my request to read on netgalley. I had the pleasure of meeting Kerry right at start of my book blogging days so im always keen to read her books. I was intrigued to see this was a different genre and a different book altogether.

Wow this book is powerful,brave and full of emotion. It is a hard read as it doesnt shy away from the tough bits. I want to thank both Kerry and Pat for sharing their stories.

Both suffering but different.. and isnt that life? We all have our stories,our happy times and sad times.

I have experienced being in Pats shoes in terms of caring for a child who was desperately unhappy. Boy its a tough gig and one i will have in a book one day(she says) . I send my love to her as a mum. I can also relate in terms of being a carer and the emotional rollercoaster that comes with it.

This is a beautiful book of courage,love,loss,family and friendships.
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A sad but educational read about two close female friends with teenage sons who experience trauma at the same time in their lives. One mother losses a son to suicide and the other a harrowing journey as her son battles cancer. Both women are honest in recounting their struggles and grief. . They provide helpful tips and guidance to readers who may be experiencing the same situations. This book is cathartic for their own healing but more importantly they want others to avoid some of the hardships and obstacles they had to deal with. Both women advocate for changes in health care especially for those dealing with mental health and cancer. A book filled with raw emotions .
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First, I want to thank Kerry Fisher, Pat Sowa, Bookouture, and NetGalley for providing me this book so I may bring you this review. 

Kerry Fisher and Pat Sowa are two incredibly strong mothers who open up and share their story not only of their son’s battle of cancer in Take My Hand. They give you an inside look how not only did this affect their sons but as a family as a whole. This is a very powerful must read book. 

Warning: You will need tissues handy while reading this book! Yes, I admit I teared up at many points. 

Kerry Fisher would like to dedicate this book to her little warrior family, and everyone else battling away in the eye of a sudden storm. May these be our worst days. 

Pat Sowa would like to dedicate this book to Jan, Greg and Dom. I love you to Pluto and back a googolplex times. 

Take My Hand focuses on very important topics such as mental health and suicide. There is a whole reference section in this book that is educational. 

Kerry and Pat were so blessed to have the tight knit bond with each other through all of this. They really leaned on each other when things got tough through emails back and forth. 

It goes without saying this book is near and dear to everyone’s heart that was a part Even Kerry’s and Pat’s husbands contributed and wrote something in this book.
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Many thanks for my ARC of this wonderful, heartbreaking read.

Reading this at a time when the world is going a little bit crazy has really helped me put into perspective what is important in life.  The things that I am currently dealing with are staying in, staying safe and spending more quality time than I have in a while with my two beautiful children.  I cannot imagine for one second having to deal with the loss of either of them. 

There are some books that I read that touch me far deeper than others and I know I will be thinking about this book in months, even years to come. The lymphoma aspect also really hit home, on a personal level, my own dad was diagnosed with this 15 years ago and I have seen first hand the devastation that this disease causes.  I cannot imagine watching a child go through this. The courage and bravery that was shown both in the way the illness was treated and how he still was able in a small way to be allowed to be a teenager is truly inspirational.

Despite the story being truly heartbreaking, it was written in such a way that even though the loss and grief was soul destroying there was also a much needed  sense of humour, a need to fight and a friendship that I can see has only grown stronger. The extracts of text messages between the friends that are shared in the dialogue really struck a chord.  The dark humor, the brutal honesty and the knowledge that even when you are the very bottom someone has your back and is there for you even at 3am in the morning is a rare thing to find.

Kerry and Pat met at university through the years they have gone their separate ways but despite living miles apart the friendship had never weakened. They had no idea that they would need each other more than they could have dreamed.  Both of their teenage sons became ill around the same age and at about the same time. It was their friendship that shone through and made this such a hard story to read.  To know that when times are darker then they have ever been that there is someone there for you without any strings is so important.

Both of the stories take different paths and I don’t want to give any spoilers but how either of these inspirational ladies found the strength to get through this and come out the other side is quite awe inspiring.

When I put myself forward to read and review this book I knew I was letting myself in for an emotional read but I wasn’t quite prepared for the anger that this also brought out in me.  The children had totally different illnesses yet I expected that whatever the illness a parent would be allowed to be as involved in the child's care in the same way.  How wrong was I?  I was angered that a parent with cancer can be very much involved in decisions and yet mental health issues it is quite the reverse.  How can a parent with a child that has cancer be so involved with their care and yet a child with a mental illness is treated effectively as an adult? The parent has to have permission from the child as to what they can actually know.  This to me is so wrong on all levels and I hope and pray that in time things change and the sooner the better.

This was a hard book to read however more than finding it all doom and gloom I also found it very uplifting.  To see how the grief was and is still being dealt with,  To see how the friendship has deepend and grown stronger.  I am sure that neither of these ladies will ever get over the tragedies they have gone through but I hope that they can move forward in their lives.  I for one am very grateful that they shared their story and it is one that I will always remember.
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This book was never going to be an easy read, but I do think it is a must-read, not only for if you ever find yourself in the shoes of Kerry & Steve, or Pat & Jan (which obviously no one ever hopes will be on their life path - but life does deal these blows to many of us and there are lots of things to take away from this book for if you ever find yourself or a loved one in need of support through devastating illness - be that through physical or mental health. 
It feels wrong to say I loved this book given the painful true stories it covers, but it was powerful & honest, and alongside the journey the friends find themselves on when their sons both find themselves with life threatening illnesses, it is also filled with helpful advice, quotes, tips and an in-depth understanding of what support was useful to the parents during this time (as well as the comments that were not). Its safe to say there are lots of things I have bookmarked to refer back to in future.
Pat's story in particular squeezes your heart (and your tear ducts), but the strength she has shown in sharing, and the difficulties both families went through, really do give you an insight into how the strength of friendship, as well as family, is really what we all need to get us through the unimaginable.
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What an emotional but very special read.Two friends whose sons both become Ill but with very different illnesses tell their stories with courage, heartbreak but most of all love. Read most of Kerry's books and love her style of writing but think this one must have been very hard to write but she certainly did it justice. Pat's story about her son's mental health makes you realise a lot more needs to be done for young people who are suffering from this terrible illness and what effect it has on all the family, certainly opened my eyes and especially poignant with it being mental health weeks. Well done to you both very brave telling your story and making it a wonderful but emotional novel, and plenty of tissues were needed
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This emotional, inspirational and brave true story is told by two best friends, Kerry and Pat, who first met at university. By now they are adults, married and nurturing their families. These are the very favourite times in my own life as well. They keep in contact for thirty years, and they both have sons who are going through the hardest of times at the same time in their short lives. Their boys are in their late teens and looking forward to going to university themselves and becoming adults, just like any teenager naturally progresses through their lives. But these two boys are destined to having to fight through crippling health issues, terrifyingly cruel and one that no child ever expects to happen to them, and that is every parent’s worst nightmare.
I should come clean and tell you right now that I loved this memoir so much because it resonated with me so much, having gone through both health issues with members of my family as well. It was totally authentic and well informed. Their descriptions of what their sons and what each family member had to navigate through are heart-breaking, honest, inspiring and affecting. I remember my times and I just felt useless, worried, and overwhelmed. I could not have described what I went through with my husband and son around about the same as Kerry and Pat, nearly so well. I felt their anxiety, feelings of terror and despair through their words and my own memories. I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. It was awful, truly awful, so I immediately felt full of empathy, compassion and amazement at how they reacted with bravery and determination when it happened to them.
It is 2017 by now. Author Kerry Fisher and her husband are enjoying their lives with their son, their firstborn child and his younger sister. They are a normal family about to have to cling on to their sanity by the very tips of their fingernails. Their son is diagnosed with Cancer, just like my husband of 46 years was in December 2017. His treatment is still on-going. Kerry, you were so brave my heart went out to you. Your story is a truly masterpiece of motherly love, sterling support and selflessness. It is a very sad story, it is true, but Cancer is an odious condition, life threatening and the treatment is utterly brutal. Your son was so brave, as is my husband. Kudos to them both. If it was horrible for us, just how frightening it must have been for them.
Similarly Headteacher Pat Sowa and her husband are looking forward to their son going to Uni until depression crept up on him. This illness is truly devastating in its very own way. It is insidious. You are always on tenterhooks, watchful, terrified and devoured by anxiety. Our son had already been diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder, Fibromyalgia and Arthritis by then. He now has over a dozen lifetime diagnoses and still fights to carry on working and support his gorgeous children. The days seem never-ending when you know how much your son is fighting to keep going, fighting his demons and every day is crippling for them. You were an example to every family member who lives with the huge but often invisibility of depression.
I loved how you supported each other, Kerry and Pat. I loved everything about your moving authentic stories. I received this excellent and moving memoir through my membership of NetGalley and from publisher Thread, all in return for an honest review. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to read this memoir and it was a pleasure to share my thoughts with other readers. This is my 5* review. All the opinions are my own with no influence from other parties. It is going to go on my list of recommendations as highly readable and a real page turner.
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5 stars! This was a tough, but thought provoking book to read. I had to step away from it a few times as it was incredibly heartbreaking and made me want to give my two young sons a massive cuddle. Kerry Fisher is one of my favourite authors and I always look forward to her new releases. I was therefore sad to hear of her and Pats experiences. I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book- I knew it wouldn’t be particularly cheerful- but I was left with such admiration for these two wonderful mothers. I honestly couldn’t imagine going through even a fraction of what they did, yet Kerry and Pat give the reader hope. They survived their grief and are no doubt still navigating their new “normal” and I think they are an inspiration to anyone else who is currently suffering with their own grief or troubled times. The love for their children and the strong friendship of two lovely mums shines through in this story. The authors are incredibly brave to tell their story and I hope by doing this it helped in the healing process. 

Thanks kindly to Netgalley, Pat and Kerry and publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book. I highly recommend.
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This amazingly powerful book at times brought me to tears. Especially as some aspects of the journey Pat went through I am currently experiencing in my family. Pat you have given me the courage to stand up and demand better for my daughter. Knowing that I am not the only parent to be facing the difficulties of caring for a child with mental health issues has made such a difference to my personal journey. 

Thank you, Kerry and Pat for finding the courage to share the stories of your sons and how your friendship helped you both.
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Wow! Not sure where to start or even if what I write can do justice to this book.
This is a heartfelt and honest account of 2 mothers sharing their darkest times.. in 2017 their worlds were turned upside down by events nobody could have predicted. Facing these trials within weeks of each other, they were able to offer each other support whenever they could.
I read this book through tears at times and am in awe of the strength these 2 women have to A) be able to share their worries and pain and B) offer support to others who may be going through something similar.
Thanks go to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review
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Well written, thought provoking and moving. This book takes you on such a journey. It makes you stop and take  a look at life with new eyes. Such a good read.
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I absolutely loved this book. It was so honest, raw & moving. A real life ring in times of utter & complete bereavement. I urge anyone suffering loss to pick this up.
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Wow what a raw, intimate portrayal of how two mums cope with the illnesses of their teenage sons! This is a truthful, honest down to earth read of the emotions, dread, hope, fear that they felt, although the sons cam and Dom were suffering from very different illnesses and with different outcomes! Patti and Kerri could call upon each other at anytime day or night if needed for  a rant, cry, advice,laughter etc etc which showed the depth of long-standing female relationships that these mums shared and how it helped them during a time that as a parent you don’t even want to imagine! Not the easiest of reads due to the subject matter but told in such a true honest way that it draws you in.
Thank you net galley for this early read.
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This was definitely never going to be an easy book to read but being a mother of a teenage son, I felt compelled to read it and I’m so glad I did.

Kerry and Pat’s stories are a reminder at how we take life for granted and how quickly that can change. Reading of both their journey’s when both sons are affected with two totally different illnesses around the same time was both heartbreaking and emotional, yet inspirational all at the same time.

I applaud the authors for bringing these two very different illnesses together and showing what a huge impact they have on not just the person that’s ill, but their loved ones also. We all know what it is like to be a teenager and being a parent, what it is like to live with them. I really felt for these two women as like most teenagers, their sons are fierce in their independence and wanting to be an adult yet they are still our babies. To see your child going through so much, it literally tore me apart.

Admittedly, I did spend most of my time crying my way through the book. The brutal account of both women with what they were going through and how it made them feel. It was also an eye opener as an outsider. Reading of their experiences of how friends or acquaintances would act around them or keep their distance and how some friendships have changed due to what has gone on. If anything it has made me more aware of ways I can help and wording things in a better way.

Both authors also include tips as well as advice for anyone going through similar to they have. I thought this was a wonderful idea as at the end of the day, until you are going through it, none of us know quite what to expect and am sure anyone that is currently going through it, will especially find it helpfully.

Take My Hand is an emotional story that offers hope. I take my hat off to both these inspirational ladies and thank them for sharing their experiences with us all. It can’t have been easy and I hope that they found it therapeutic in some way. With Pat and Dom’s story, I especially hope it raises awareness in helping people recognise mental health for the truly horrible disease it is.
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‘Take My Hand’ is a truly wonderful book. It is the true story of best friends Kerry Fisher and Pat Sowa who in 2017 experience the most horrendous of experiences when their sons are both diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.
Due to the topic of the book, It could have been a morbid and distressing read. However, whilst it is, of course, very heartbreaking at times, it is thoroughly inspiring, a testament to the strength of the two woman and their friendship and really informative. 
I loved how Pat and Kerry called themselves ‘3am friends’ to mean that they knew that they genuinely could phone each other at 3am and that the other would be there for them. That is the meaning of true friendship.
It is such a hard topic to cover, the most difficult thing that any mother will have to deal with, but this book deals with it so well.  Highly recommended.
Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A story written by best friends Kerry and Pat both heartbreakingly going through terrible traumas with their beloved teenage boys. One with mental health and one with physical health issues. Both stories as tragic as each-others. I chose to read this book based on my love of Kerry Fisher's novels. Through this is a true story and certainly a heartbreaking one it still features Kerry's wonderful humour through the darkest of times. Pat's story is so heart wrenching as her beautiful boy struggles and how she comes out with so much strength. An uplifting read at times and really educational in how to help families going through these dark times.  A beautiful read.
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I absolutely loved this book, and could relate to it 100%. Even though everyone who faces a medical crisis has different issues, backgrounds, stories, and results, there are definitely some strong commonalities. The way they told their stories touched my heart immensely. Thank you Netgalley (authors, and publishers too) for allowing me to read this free ebook preview. My review is my honest and voluntary.

 What makes this book different from others and why should anyone care? This book is different from others because it sheds light on two best friends in two completely different tragic situations, with sons who are exact opposites, however; they are still able to highlight important similarities that touch your heart and teach valuable lessons. Despite the horrifying events that took place, they also shared their moments of humor and finding happiness in the smallest things, and I think that is critical to be able to get through situations like theirs. I think including those small humorous moments and things to be happy about was important because it conveyed the message that it’s ok to laugh a little and be happy during some of the things that come up. You can’t let it swallow you up to the point that all you feel is grief, despair, and hopelessness. They did a great job expressing that in their writing. The authors reveal their feelings, events, reactions, experiences, and situations with raw emotion, information, and lessons learned. Their story is written so well that it is like they are reliving it all over again and you are going through it right alongside them. They also shared information they learned through their experiences. The tips, suggestions, and information they provided are well thought out, accurate, and helpful. When I was reading their facts about questions to ask, things to consider, etc, several times I thought “oh yeah, I hadn’t thought of that, but it would be important,” and “now I can see why something that once seemed so minor would be so important now.” Their experiences at the hospitals and with Drs were also very informative. Even though they were very close friends prior to the medical tragedies, their friendship strengthened and it was obvious how important it is to be able to talk to someone just to be able to get through one more hour, one more day, one more week. The book also served as a reminder to be grateful for the things you have and to not take life for granted. It was a reminder that tragedies can strike anyone at anytime...but that you have to find a way to go on with life and deal with things the best way you can, even if it’s only one day at a time. They gave a strong message that their lives wouldn’t ever be the same again, and even though they were terrified, they both found ways to cope and go on with their new lives as best they could. They cried and wondered “why?” but they didn’t give up, and they found ways to carry on without letting it destroy them. I think their strong message of hope and resilience is so incredibly important, and they did a great job expressing that. They shared their most vulnerable moments of panic, but they didn’t give up.

Plot: Both women have been friends for decades, and the story starts off at Kerri’s 50th birthday party. Shorty thereafter Kerry purchased cough medicine for her son, Cam, because he had been coughing. It was only a cough though, and nothing seemed too serious or out of the ordinary. Soon after he returned from a rugby tournament, their visit to the dr led him to receiving a different medication, and finally resulted in him having to go to the hospital. Little did they know at the time, but his problems were much more serious than just a cough. 
Pat (Kerry’s best friend) had been in communication throughout everything Kerry’s family was experiencing and proved to be a very encouraging and helpful best friend. Pat’s son, Dom, was an opposite of Cam, and tended to be more to himself and had faced many challenges at school. Suddenly, her son had a medical tragedy strike him, and it was Kerry who helped Pat in the same way she had done for her. Both medical crises were completely different, but they were both closely related in how their mothers felt, how their lives changed from “normal” to going to regular appointments, fears of “what if,” and questions of “where/how do we go on from here to make it through this? It was terribly hard, but they persevered and found ways to adapt to a life they never expected without letting it destroy them. Yes, this book makes you want to cry at times, but it also makes you want to cheer for them because they found a way to look towards hope!
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