A shattering yet deeply hopeful memoir of a young girl who, through a love of books and her own tenacity, creates hope where none existed
At age eleven, Goldie Taylor is out riding her new bike when a young man from the neighborhood brutally rapes her. Goldie’s mother, dealing with trauma of her own, sends her to live with her aunt, uprooting her from a good school to live in a dangerous, bottomed-out neighborhood in East St. Louis.
Aunt Gerald takes in anyone who asks, but the conditions are harsh. With no bed or personal belongings, Goldie sleeps on the living room floor, beneath a threadbare blanket, amid cousins who abuse her. Plagued by the echoes of trauma and longing for her mother, Goldie finds her thoughts growing increasingly dark. Until she finds solace in the writings of James Baldwin. And hope in the form of a nurturing teacher who helps her find her voice.
With echoes of Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Tara Westover’s Educated, Goldie Taylor’s debut memoir shines a light on the strictures of race, class and gender in a post-Jim Crow America while offering a nuanced, empathetic portrait of a family in a pitched battle for its very soul. Profoundly moving, exquisitely rendered and ultimately uplifting, The Love You Save is a story about hidden strength, perseverance against unimaginable odds, the beauty and pain of girlhood, and the power of the written word.