Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

eBook - 2017
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Random House, Inc.
NEW YORK TIMES 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.

*Library Journal

Praise for Before We Were Yours

“A [story] of a family lost and found . . . a poignant, engrossing tale about sibling love and the toll of secrets.”People

“Sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year. . . . Wingate is a master-storyteller, and you’ll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tann’s legacy.”Parade

“One of the year’s best books . . . It is impossible not to get swept up in this near-perfect novel.”The Huffington Post

“Lisa Wingate takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nation’s history and weaves a tale of enduring power.”—Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of Circling the Sun

Publisher: Ballantine Books (P),, 2017
ISBN: 9780425284698
0425284697
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks

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p
pktab
Nov 20, 2017

This was a good book! Everything about it was so well written; the characters were all visible through the author's words. I definitely recommend it!

r
r0cdjmg
Nov 16, 2017

Extremely well written and a very good story.

m
MaryElizabeth17
Oct 28, 2017

This is an easy read based on true events surrounding stolen children in the 1930s. Interestingly, the young protagonist, Rill, is the best drawn character in the book. It made me want to know more about the real events on which the story is based. Highly recommended.

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pp47
Oct 07, 2017

this book is a very complex though sometimes painful to read. I have loved all of lisa W ingates novels esp. tending roses and PRAYER box AND STORY KEEPER

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Oct 03, 2017

In the 21st Century, Avery meets May at a nursing home, and is immediately drawn to the old women’s story. Their story is interspersed with the story of Rill and her siblings living on the Mississippi River during the Great Depression. They are essentially kidnapped by a woman running an adoption scheme at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. There they are abused, separated, and forced to live in terrible conditions. Meanwhile, Avery is determined to figure out the relationship between her grandmother and May. I think the book would have been better if the Avery sections weren’t there. She is the daughter of a Senator, and she’s supposedly cosmopolitan and smart, but she seems to have zero understanding of how the world works. She thinks she discovered a secret that would completely ruin her family, but there is nothing about the secret that would reflect badly on the descendants of the people involved. The pacing of the story is off, with major events only being mentioned in passing. I would have liked a lot more details about the adult lives of the children taken by the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. This book has a lot of similarities to Orphan Train by Christina Baker Klein, but it isn’t anywhere near as good.

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writermala
Oct 01, 2017

At the beginning, I did not realize how much this novel would grip me; but as the story unfolded I could not put it down. Rill and Avery are generations apart yet there is a strong link between them and a chance meeting leads to the unveiling of cruel injustice meted out to poor children in the 1930s in Tennessee. Avery believed that the truth always comes out sooner or later and she felt that one was better of knowing it at first. This is what prompted her to probe her grandmother's story. She finds out that not so many years ago orphaned or poor children were just chattel.

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BRUCE PILCHER
Sep 26, 2017

Very engaging book based on actual events. The story is told in two intertwined time-lines. I have had difficulty following and keeping up with some stories written this way. I did not with this one.
Very good - highly recommended.

r
Running2Jesus
Aug 13, 2017

A complex and moving story based on real-life atrocities that happened at the Tennessee Children's home between 1930-1950. Lisa Wingate is a first-rate storyteller and this book is no exception. I loved it!

i
iluvbooks63
Aug 09, 2017

I cannot believe this happened! I had so many emotions reading this book, as this was such a travesty of justice and then they (government) let it continue until Tann's death (??). I am not a history person, but books like this especially make me disgusted that no one had the decency to stand up and, at least, try to right this wrong while it was going on (not after the fact). The book was well written in that I could put myself in Rill's (May's) place and feel all of her emotions. I would definitely recommend this book.

r
Reads_A_Lot
Jul 04, 2017

Good historical fiction centered around the Tennessee Children's Home Society who from 1920-1950 illegally acquired babies and children and adopted them to new families for profit. The captivating story of 12 yr old Rill and her siblings gives us a look into the horrors of what some of these children experienced and the effect it had on their futures. Interesting and well written, this is another good one for historical fiction fans.

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BRUCE PILCHER
Sep 26, 2017

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

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AL_MARYA 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.

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