Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

A Novel

eBook - 2017
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"Memphis, Tennessee, 1936. The five Foss children find their lives changed forever when their parents leave them alone on the family shantyboat one stormy night. Rill Foss, just twelve years old, must protect her four younger siblings as they are wrenched from their home on the Mississippi and thrown into the care of the infamous Georgia Tann, director of the Tennessee Children's Home Society. South Carolina, Present Day. Avery Stafford has lived a charmed life. Loving daughter to her father, a U.S. Senator, she has a promising career as an assistant D.A. in Baltimore and is engaged to her best friend. But when Avery comes home to help her father weather a health crisis and a political attack, a chance encounter with a stranger leaves her deeply shaken. Avery's decision to learn more about the woman's life will take her on a journey through her family's long-hidden history"--
"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"--
Publisher: New York :, Ballantine Books,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780425284698
Branch Call Number: Online eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file, rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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May 18, 2019


May 07, 2019

Alicia highly recommended.

May 02, 2019

This is an amazing read based on true events. I enjoyed this story very much.

Apr 30, 2019

Gripping read and compelling story telling bringing to light the atrocities of the Tennessee Children's Home Society. I didn't know about this when I read the book, and appreciate this eye opening intro to the historic black market operation.

ArapahoeKati Apr 29, 2019

I can see why this historical fiction novel, based on some truth, has been getting rave reviews. Wingate can write a compelling story. Keep a box of tissues nearby as you get near the end.

Apr 23, 2019

I read this for the "True Crime Novel" part of my 2019 reading challenge. The Tennessee Children's Home Society was new to me and it was fascinating how Georgia Tann managed to pull off child kidnapping and illegal adoptions for so long, and in those numbers. The rest of the story I just found convenient, I didn't like the mixture between history and "present day".

IndyPL_BethanyA Apr 09, 2019

This book was a jolting introduction to the Tennessee Children's Home Society. While the story itself is fictional, it is based on Georgia Tann's countless illegal adoptions and kidnappings of kids over the first half of the twentieth century. The story alternated between present day and the past, and the two stories were woven together in a way that kept me interested until the end.

Mar 31, 2019

I can't say I liked this very much. The five children are taken to the home, away from their parents. It's based on fact which is really sad but I couldn't feel much about these characters & eventually stopped trying with them. For me it lacked depth.

Mar 17, 2019

Story was a bit thin.

Mar 16, 2019

This was a real page turner as the story of a fictional family of children who are stolen unfolds. I learned a lot about this real-life practice of selling children, and Georgia Tann’s abusive Tennessee Children’s Home. Wingate’s structure of alternating narrators between the 1930s story and the present day story of Avery who digs into this horrible history was very clever in providing cliff hangers at the end of every chapter.

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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.

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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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