Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

Large Print - 2017 | Large print edition
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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: Waterville, Maine : 2017. Thorndike Press,
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781432839123
Branch Call Number: LT WING


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Jun 24, 2018

I, too, was a little girl who grew up on the banks of a river, so could appreciate the love young Rill and her family had for theirs, in spite of their, on the surface, impoverished life style. Author Wingate depicts this relationship beautifully and sets the stage for the heartbreaking story that follows.
It is easy to forget that as recently as the mid-20th century, children were often treated as more of a commodity than as a person with rights. Children were routinely snatched from their parents' homes for no clear reason other than the family was poor. Often done without knowledge or consent of the parents, who may have signed relinquishment papers thinking they were signing something else entirely. In some cases, these flagrant "removals" were done with good intentions, but sadly there were Georgia Tanns who viewed young children as profit opportunities and advocated in no way for the welfare of those children.
The strength of the eldest daughter of the snatched family is both inspiring and heartbreaking. The eventual partial reunion with her former family will make you hurt for her.
The contrast between the Foss children with the modern day Stafford family, a family of immense influence and wealth is particularly stark.
As the story progresses, the past and the present, the Fosses and the Staffords, are found to be blended in a way that no one could have foreseen. Not a perfect ending, but a realistic and satisfying.

Jun 19, 2018

A very moving book, especially for anyone who has adoption in their family.

Jun 16, 2018

I think I have read all of Lisa Wingates book and this is the most historical of her novels and the deepest one. Sad story but very interesting. Her writing keeps getting better and better and I'm glad to see her move into deeper topics.

Jun 16, 2018

Five stars for this book. Well written and thoroughly researched. Hard to believe that something like this could actually happen and that it was actually condoned by the police and others. I read this book in three days and loved it. I highly recommend this book, especially to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction.

Jun 15, 2018

I Really liked this book --- read it in two nights -- couldn't put it down. Great historical fiction -- going back & forth between the Present & 1939 in Tennessee --- and the current mystery of Avery, one of the main characters, trying to find out about her grandmother & family history.
The children who are in the orphanage are treated very poorly & sometimes I had to skim through portions because it was so tragic. A great Mystery and loved the ending.
At the end of the book, the author has included a summary of the true events of the Tennessee Children's Home during the 1939 to 1950 time period.

May 07, 2018

About this book, the first word that comes to mind is “WOW”! What a good story!
I understand that even though the story is fiction, it is based on true facts. The facts are so incredibly sad and sorrowful that Georgia Tann was allowed to operate in the fashion that she did, with so few people taking her to task.
It is slow moving at first and sometimes difficult to incite interest, but stay with it. It gets better.
If you don’t get emotionally involved in this story, I would be surprised.

Apr 08, 2018

October @ Grace's

Apr 06, 2018

This story of a young Mississippi girl's attempt to keep her family intact parallels the
real life history of The Tennessee Orphan Society during the late 1930's through mid-1950.
The founder/ head of this organization profited from the abduction of children from destitute
families and "sale" to families able to pay for services. I, personally, found this fictionalized story overly maudlin; but am intrigued by the power and political clout and influence the real head of the T. S. O. exercised.

Apr 02, 2018

I loved learning about a part of history that I am not familiar with. I also loved the relationship between the sisters and how they coped and survived through hardships together.

Hazelnut Mar 20, 2018

Although the story is fictional it centers on the astonishing real life history of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage in Memphis. Rill Foss and her siblings are kidnapped and put in Georgia Tann’s orphanage to later be sold to wealthy families.
Switching from Rill’s story back in 1939 to Avery in present day the secrets of the past become unveiled.
This emotional and riveting tale is a must for book clubs.

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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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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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