Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

A Novel

Book - 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.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2017
ISBN: 9780425284681
Characteristics: 342 p. ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

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 th... Read More »

From the critics

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Jul 26, 2020

A true adoption story with a twist. Good read

patcumming Jul 15, 2020

Cleverly told story about a shameful chapter in American history when children were stolen and sold. Wingate expertly unfolds the mystery behind the politically prominent Stafford family. This is a great read.

Jun 20, 2020

Fascinating story. Especially for anyone who is trying to understand adoption issues. Fictional character - but real life situation!

May 04, 2020

Rec. J. Chan

Mar 02, 2020

This isn't normally "my type" of book but let me say how glad I am I continued to read it (The beginning bored me a bit) but HOLY SMOKES! I would have to put the book down and take a breath because I was so overwhelmed with the stories, I loved the switch between the past and the present. I loved how so many stories were being shared and OBVIOUSLY once I finished I googled all about that horrid woman. Knowing that this place was very real, knowing how disgusting of a person Georgia Tann was made the story that much more intriguing. I'm definitely going to do the same in future and venture away from "my type" of books because I could NOT put it down. Love love loved it!

Feb 10, 2020

I love a story that grips me from the beginning. It's a sad story but it's about history I never heard about before. I've found a new author to check out other of her books. I really enjoyed this!

Feb 03, 2020

I did not care for the book at all. I dislike books that so obviously manipulate the reader. You know what the ending will likely be from the beginning, but keep reading to see how it comes about. And the major question one is trying to answer is never fully resolved.

Jan 17, 2020

"A powerful tale of family, of sisters, of secrets kept and secrets shared"...of white people in 1939?

FPL_SheriS Jan 13, 2020

Wonderfully crafted historical fiction exploring historic and current issues. Lisa Wingate develops charming characters that withstand horrific events, and while not glossing over the damage done manages to build a story of hope.

Jan 09, 2020

Sad to read this ficticious account of a sad chapter in American history, that is similar to Canadian residential schools ripping children from their families. Luckily Wingate is an excellent author to make this story flow so warmly as we delve into the intertwined lives of several people.

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Jun 17, 2019

"No matter how much we may 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."

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.


Add Age Suitability
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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