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Book cover image

No Perfect Mothers


While 1920s Charlottesville, Virginia, is a charming place to grow up, there's one thing Carrie Buck doesn't like about her hometown--her home. Taken from her mother, Carrie is put up for fostering as a toddler. At age ten, Carrie is forced to leave school to work as a domestic. But when Carrie turns up pregnant at seventeen, it is Miss Mora, a Scottish immigrant and Charlottesville's most competent midwife, who she turns to. Fearing their nephew's assault of Carrie will be discovered, Carrie's foster parents claim custody of her infant daughter and fraudulently commit her to the Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded. Dr. Priddy, the colony's superintendent, deceptively labels Carrie an imbecile, unfit to bear children. In pursuit of a legal argument granting states the right to forcibly sterilize individuals, he exploits her. NO PERFECT MOTHERS explores characters, historical and imagined, who were parties to the infamous Buck v. Bell U.S. Supreme Court case of 1927.