Author(s): Lisa WingateDownload
Publish: Published June 6th 2017 by Ballantine Books
ISBN: ISBN 0425284689 (ISBN13: 9780425284681)
THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT—A New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller
For readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale comes a “thought-provoking [and] complex tale about two families, two generations apart . . . based on a notorious true-life scandal.”*
Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.
Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.
Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.
Some Reviews: 198,365 ratings 19,355 reviews in Goodreads.com
My heart is broken knowing that this kind of thing actually happened. And it happened for SO LONG. In our country, under our very noses.
These children were treated in a way no human being should EVER be treated. My heart cries for justice to be served, but . . . it never was.
Sit tight, my friends, because this review is going to be challenging.
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate was a beautifully told reality based work of fiction. It was moving and often disturbing, yet from start to finish it captured my interest. Stories that alternate between the past and the present don’t always work well for me but this one certainly did. Right from the outset I was invested in the fate of the characters in each of the threads and was always eager to return for their next installment.
Rill, the 12 yo narrator and her four younge
I had never heard the story of Georgia Tann or the Tennessee Children’s Home Society so this was all new to me. From page one I felt horrible for Rill/May and her entire family.
One of the best historical fictions pieces I’ve read in a long time that wasn’t set in a war setting. This book is based upon the true stories of children and families ruined by Georgia Tann who ran orphanages in Tennessee but it was basically a front for trafficking children into adoptive families while making the birth families believe children dies at birth or forcing them from those children from the families under duress or getting them to sign documents while under sedation claiming they were one thing when they were in fact signing over their rights.