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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Before We Were Yours - Lisa Wingate

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 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 fiancĂ©, 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.

Cafe Lily's Review:

Prior to reading this, I knew nothing about Georgia Tann or the horrific acts she carried out.  I had never heard about this part of history, or the Tennessee Children's Home.  

In some ways, I wish I had kept my innocence, because this woman was one of the most evil, heartless, sinister characters I have ever read about.  I had to read this in small doses, because my heart hurt. I just ached, and had to put it down at times.

I felt sad and emotional, almost at times unable to digest and comprehend what these families and mothers were being put through.

I am a huge fan of historical fiction, and this book was very well written. Though the subject matter is hard and heartbreaking, the book flowed easily.  This book will stay with you, long after the last page is turned.  

I highly suggest you read this one when it releases in June!


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