Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Train and 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 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 fiance, 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"-- Provided by publisher.
"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780425284681
Branch Call Number: WIN
Characteristics: 342 pages ; 25 cm

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_justshar
May 04, 2020

Rec. J. Chan

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emeralddh
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!

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sam6203
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!

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begete
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.

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kookaburraofdoom
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.

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mechambers6
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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ArleneR_0
Nov 22, 2019

This was such a great book...very well written...had a hard time putting the book down.

mazinwhistler Oct 29, 2019

So I will be honest that the cover of this book did not appeal to me at all (I think it is the font that title is in) and for this reason I nearly didn't bother with it but a colleague had recommended it so I decided to give it a go. And, boy I am so glad I did. This book is amazing! Wingate has a delightful way with words and the story, whilst fiction is based on her research regarding the topic. If you are in for a tearjerker this is the book for you!

FPL_John Oct 28, 2019

This was a very moving book. Although fiction, it's based on actual events. From the beginning you think you know what's going on, but as the book proceeds you realize that there is much more going on than you realize. This is a chapter in our history that doesn't make it into the textbooks, but I was fascinated. I had no idea that all these things had happened. The book is well written and the story is engrossing.

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XueyingMou
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."

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cknightkc
Oct 12, 2018

“We plan our days, but we don’t control them.” - p. 95

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cknightkc
Oct 12, 2018

“The argument ends where all arguments do—on the altar of compromise.” - p. 255

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cknightkc
Oct 12, 2018

“I learned that you need not be born into a family to be loved by one.” - p. 314

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cknightkc
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.

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Mya614
Jan 20, 2018

Mya614 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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BRUCE PILCHER
Sep 26, 2017

BRUCE PILCHER thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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