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Before We Were Yours: A Novel by Lisa…
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Before We Were Yours: A Novel (2017)

by Lisa Wingate

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1,4781087,769 (4.15)52
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» See also 52 mentions

English (110)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (112)
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
Knowing little about this book before I started reading it, other than it was popular and getting good reviews, I enjoyed learning about living on a shantyboat during hard times. Then I thought it got way too melodramatic. Not far into it, I started Googling, and was horrified by the facts behind the story, so I became more engrossed in the story. But it continued to be too melodramatic, too good vs evil. I finished the book, and enjoyed the story but I would have enjoyed it more if it had been a less hyperbolic. I found the Google information more interesting than the book.

Still, when will we ever learn that children should be cherished and loved, and not treated like chattel? ( )
  TooBusyReading | Jul 14, 2019 |
Couldn't put down. Liked the way the book jumped back and forth. Couldn't wait to find out what was occurring in each time period. So sad to think this really happened. The same sort of thing went on in Ireland with unwed mothers and lack of respect for human beings. Happening on our borders right now. ( )
  Alphawoman | Jul 3, 2019 |
3.5 Stars. I didn't know anything about the Tennessee Children's Home prior to this book. Wingate wove the stories of Avery and May together beautifully. Each chapter left me wanting to read the next to find out the characters' fates. The stories felt a bit contrived, but still an enjoyable read. ( )
  Beth.Clarke | Jun 28, 2019 |
very good read. Interesting and horrifying event in our American History. unfortunately, aspects of it are still happening. ( )
  RobertaLea | Jun 28, 2019 |
I read this book for a bookclub. I have so many thoughts and questions to share. I loved how this book was written. ( )
  kaylynvh | Jun 24, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
"Did you know that in this land of the free and home of the brave there is a great baby market? And the securities which change hands...are not mere engraved slips of paper promising certain financial dividends, but live, kicking, flesh-and-blood babies."  ---FROM THE ARTICLE "THE BABY MARKET, The Saturday Evening Post, February 1, 1930
"They are, [Georgia Tann] said repeatedly, blank slates. They are born untainted, and if you adopt them at an early age and surround them with beauty and culture, they will become anything you wish them to be."  ---BARBARA BISANTZ RAYMOND, The Baby Thief
Dedication
For the hundreds who vanished
and for the thousands who didn't.
May your stories
not be forgotten.
For those who help today's orphans
find forever homes.
May you always know the value 
of your work
and your love.
First words
My story begins on a sweltering August night, in a place I will never set eyes upon.
Quotations
It's funny how what you're used to seems like it's right even if it's bad.
Life is not unlike cinema.  Each scene has its own music, and the music is created for the scene, woven to it in ways we do not understand.  No matter how much we love the melody of a bygone day or imagine the song of a future one, we must dance within the music of today, or we will always be out of step, stumbling around in something that doesn't suit the moment.
I have to be close to my sister, We've been stitched together at the heart since she was born.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425284689, Hardcover)

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 that the truth is much darker. 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 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—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.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 03 Jan 2017 19:09:35 -0500)

"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"--… (more)

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