Title: Before We Were Yours
Author: Lisa Wingate
Jacket Summary: 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.
My Thoughts: This book was an easy read for me it only took me two days to read it and I simply couldn’t put it down. The topic of the book is very real and to think about what happened to those children long ago is very heartbreaking. But what is even more heartbreaking is that some of this is still happening today. Maybe not in the exact same way but children are still being taken from their families everyday. I found myself getting teary eyed about not only what was written on the page but what wasn’t written. There were a couple instances where the author didn’t tell you exactly what happened in the children’s home but if you read between the lines and figure it out and it was just devastating to thing about what these children went through. What was even worse was when she finally did get back to her family it wasn’t the life she had remembered it to be. This is a must read!! Keep the tissues handy.