Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale. 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 fiance, 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780425284681
Characteristics: 342 pages ; 25 cm.


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Jan 18, 2019

Perfect book club selection. So much to discuss.

Jan 17, 2019

Would it be fair to assume that Judy if this part were non fiction, would probably never have been connected with her sisters since she was a newborn on the other side of the Mississippi river while her siblings were being kidnapped, and the birth names, dates and times of birth were most often changed for all of them even the older ones so that there was no trail or any chance of family finding them?

Jan 09, 2019

I enjoyed reading this thought provoking novel. The realization that this was (perhaps still is) happening is a chilling reminder that human nature is a complex beast.

TSCPL_Miranda Jan 07, 2019

So good! I found it hard to put this one down. Alternating timelines tell the story of a family of children torn from their homes, and the modern day woman who asks questions and uncovers the truth. Really well written, and based on real historic events that I had never heard of. So glad I finally got this book into my hands, and I'll look forward to reading more by this author.

CMLibrary_sdeason Jan 02, 2019

I loved this book even though I do not like time flipping between chapters. Wingate relates a sad story to a very positive outcome. You will be guessing the exact details until the end.

Nov 29, 2018

This book has such an incredibly sad undercurrent. I'm glad I read it, but would recommend only with the clearest of warnings that it is incredibly sad.

Nov 27, 2018

This was my first Lisa Wingate book and I must say that I love her writing style. The truth of Tennessee Children's Home Society makes this very difficult subject matter, however the way Wingate develops the storyline was captivating.
This book both broke my heart and mended it again. This is an unforgettable read and has me thinking about other similar injustices that exist. Unforgettable...

Oct 26, 2018

Set in the depression the fictional account of children who were “stolen” by the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, follows the lives of four sisters. I was confused by Grandma Judy and how she fit in, but that was because I hadn’t paid attention to the clues in the story. The ending seemed a little too much like a fairy tale to me, but still the book brings to light the horrors faced by the poor.

Oct 23, 2018

My wife actually read this--her words are: My first Lisa Wingate read. I was quite pleased with her presentation of this subject-- of stealing children and using them as money making subjects. I was familiar with Georgia Tann and her career, and Ms. Wingate covered it well within a heart wrenching, yet, tasteful prose.

Oct 20, 2018

Interesting part of our shameful history and for me hard to read that this really went on and with sanction by those in authority. Yet it is a compelling read and one worth your time.

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Oct 12, 2018

“We plan our days, but we don’t control them.” - p. 95

Oct 12, 2018

“The argument ends where all arguments do—on the altar of compromise.” - p. 255

Oct 12, 2018

“I learned that you need not be born into a family to be loved by one.” - p. 314

Oct 12, 2018

“A woman’s past need not predict her future. She can dance to new music if she
chooses. Her own music. - p. 317

ArapahoeMaryA Jun 13, 2017

I clench my teeth so hard the pain travels all the way to the top of my head. I'm glad for it - it's just a little ache and I know where it comes from. I can stop it anytime I want. The one in my heart is way bigger. I can't fix it no matter how hard I try. It scares me so much that I can't even breathe.

"…the love of sisters needs no words. It does not depend on memories, or mementos or proof. It runs as deep as a heartbeat; it is as ever present as a pulse.


Add Age Suitability
Jan 20, 2018

Mya614 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Sep 26, 2017

BRUCE PILCHER thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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