Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Photo Credit: Ballantine Books

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

Before We Were Yours

SummaryTHE BLOCKBUSTER HIT—A New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller

For readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale comes a “thought-provoking [and] complex tale about two families, two generations apart . . . based on a notorious true-life scandal.”*

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 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 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.


Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

I had been holding off on reading this book for awhile because I thought I would ugly cry when reading this. However, while Lisa Wingate did write a great book and tugged at my heartstrings- I did not cry. My heart did ache for Rill and her family, though.

What I liked:

The cover. I love the girls. The colors.

Avery. You know she could have kept on living her charmed life. In some ways, I wouldn’t have blamed her if she had chosen that path. However, I loved her strength and determination to find the truth out.

Rill. All the kids in the Foss family won my heart in some manner, but Rill- she was a winner and a keeper and had so much about her that you couldn’t help but love her.


Bottom line: This is a sad part in history- and Georgia Tann deserved a world of hurt for what she put countless families through- all for the sake of a dollar. Lisa Wingate shines a light on this part in history and tells a story with thoughtfulness and care. A winner on all levels.


*This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.*


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*Is Before We Were Yours on your TBR list?*


Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

T @ Traveling With T


7 thoughts on “Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

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