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Before We Were Yours by lisa Wingate
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Before We Were Yours (2017)

by lisa Wingate

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2,4971654,292 (4.11)66
"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)
Member:TonniCallan
Title:Before We Were Yours
Authors:lisa Wingate
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Rating:*****
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Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (2017)

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» See also 66 mentions

English (163)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (165)
Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
It’s Memphis, Tennessee, in 1939. Rill Foss and her four siblings are living the life on the Mississippi River with her loving parents in a shantyboat. Her life unexpectedly takes a turn when he father rushes her pregnant mother to the hospital. Rill is left in charge when strangers come and take them from their boat with the promise of seeing their parents.
In contrast, it is present day in Aiken, South Carolina. Avery Stanford, born into wealth and privilege, seems to have it all: a successful career as a prosecutor, a handsome finance, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. She’s come home to help see her father through a health crisis and has a chance encounter which sends her reeling into her family’s past.
(I wasn’t thrilled with the story line of Avery. It was much better with the story of Rill and her siblings.) ( )
  creighley | Feb 17, 2021 |
I don't know why I picked this book up from the library, but it definitely wasn't the cover. The history part was very interesting, but I gagged through the love story in current time. I really, really, really dont like love stories. Especially not ones like this. However, I settle in for three stars just for the orphanage part of it, and because I don't want to admit making a mistake.

Note. I also really dislike it when narrators "act" when they read and use different voices. I am perfectly capable of understanding who is speaking when I myself read a text, so please don't underestimate my ability to understand who is speaking when you read a text out loud. When people tell each other stories, they very rarely use different pitches to separate people from one another. Read in a normal voice, please!!! ( )
  Iira | Feb 14, 2021 |
Back in 1939, Rill narrates her story of living on the river with her parents and several siblings, but they are stolen away when her parents had to go to the hospital when her mother gave birth. In the present day, Avery Stafford has been groomed for the politician role but isn't really sure what she wants in life. When she meets May Crandall at a nursing home, and realizes May knows her grandmother, Avery starts looking in to her family's past despite what a scandal might mean to her father's position as senator or her own political future.

This was compelling historical fiction about a little known but horrific story about... well, I can't really say because I already knew what it was going in, and it took out some of the tension of Avery discovering the connection between past and present. I figured it out pretty early on, and even if I don't tell you, you might too. The writing style and dialog was occasionally stilted, but most of the time I was reading too fast to care. And I'm definitely going to have to add some nonfiction reading to supplement. ( )
  bell7 | Feb 6, 2021 |
Horrifying story of child stealing and abuse, told by an author who seems to have watched movies rather than read books to learn her craft. ( )
  GwenRino | Feb 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wingate, Lisaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rankin, EmilyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taber, CatherineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
In my multifold years of life, I have learned that most people get along as best as they can. They don't intend to hurt anyone. It is merely a terrible by-product of surviving.
The names of old friends and acquaintances she can often recall with ease. It's as if her memory book has fallen open, a persistent wind tearing out the most recent pages first. The older the memories are, the more likely they are to remain intact.
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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"--

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