Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 6 wonderful stars
Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Trainand The Nightingale.
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 that the truth is much darker. 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 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—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.
**If you think this sounds familiar, it is probably because Berit has already reviewed it. To see her review, you can go to Berit’s Review. Thank you Berit for making me read a book that i probably would never have picked up 😘**
This book was just wonderful, i thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audio book, expertly narrated by Emily Rankin & Catherine Taber.
I try not to read the blurb on books that i have been recommended as i tent to be put off, so as normal i went in to this one blind.
It wasn’t until i had got about halfway through that i realized that it is based on a true story!!!!!
This story is loosely based around the story of Georgia Tann, The Tennessee Children’s Home Society, and her involvement in the kidnapping, and child trafficking of hundreds of children.
Often mothers still heavy with sedation were told that the baby they had just delivered had died, or were just made to sign a paper, not really knowing that they were signing away their child.
Other ways of stealing children, well just taking them from your front porch was a normal occurrence!
This woman used to advertise the children in the papers as a “Live Christmas Present” or something equally as disturbing, but the thing is, people loved her, they saw a woman helping poor little orphans out, they didn’t see that behind closed doors the children were being beaten and physically/sexually abused.
In fact she was loved so much that movie stars and “well to do” people used to get children from her, the move star Joan Crawford actually got her 2 children (twins) from Georgia Tann at the Childrens home.
To this day some of the children that were taken from their parents have never found their families again, that is just so sad.
Even though this was a sad story to read, the way that the author writes was like pure poetry on the pages, and i loved it!
Actual Newspaper advertisements.