Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss lives aboard a river shantyboat with her parents and siblings. To the outside viewer, it might look like she doesn’t have much, but Rill has everything she needs. However, life as she knows it changes one night when her father must rush her pregnant mother to the hospital. While alone with her siblings, strangers arrive and yank the Foss kids from their home and toss them into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage. Despite false assurances that they will soon be reunited with their parents, the children soon discover the cruel truth. This forces Rill to fight to protect her siblings from a perilous and unknown world they can’t control.
South Carolina, present day. Born into affluence and prestige, Avery Stafford never dreamed her family tree could hide a scandalous history. But when a chance encounter with a senile woman stirs up questions, Avery works to track down her family’s long-held secrets — secrets that could destroy those she loves most or bring healing.
Heart-wrenching, riveting, and haunting, Before We Were Yours delivers an unforgettable tale that sticks long after the final page. Lisa Wingate pens a poignant and captivating tale of a disturbing time in history. Based on the real-life scandal of Georgia Tann, the director of an adoption organization that kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families, the story wrecks the reader while also proving impossible to set aside. Despite the hard topic, Wingate manages to weave a thread of hope throughout the tale.
Masterful storytelling, vivid settings, and raw, real characters ensured my total investment in the tale. I laughed, I cried, I suffered, I rejoiced, as I experienced the events right alongside the characters. Dual timeline stories are very rarely my cup of tea, and yet Wingate continually amazes and pulls me in with hers. For the romantics, though romance is not the dominant thread, a bit of a love story exists. I won’t give anything away, but he is amazing! I strongly recommend this novel.
Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley. Thanks!