I am excited today to share Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. It is my first novel by Lisa, and I feel there will be many more. The novel Before We Were Yours is set in the Memphis area during the late 1930s and current events. There are two storylines that run through this novel.
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… (Random House)
I loved this novel! The setting of this scandal is the Tennessee Children’s Home. It created a great mystery. The characters of this story are fictional but incorporate all sides of the story. There are many points of views (POV) in this story. Rill is a child at the beginning of the story but experiences being taken and living in the Tennessee Children’s Home. The other POV is Avery the senator’s daughter who stumbles across an older Rill, in the current timeline. It is her investigation that will keep readers turning pages as they find out what happened to Rill in and her family. I was interested to see what Avery’s character found as the story progressed. I loved how Lisa Wingate contrasted the backgrounds of both Rill and Avery. Parts of this mystery I was able to solve while reading the book but I wanted to know if the siblings from Rill’s family ever found each other. I am not saying more because you have to read the novel.
To purchase a copy of Before We Were Yours here.
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