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Based on one of America's real-life scandals. Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country.
In the year 1939 Memphis, Tennessee, Rill Foss is a twelve-year-old river gypsy whose family lives on a Mississippi River shantyboat. When an emergency takes their parents to the hospital, strangers take the children from their world and place into an orphanage. Rill fights to keep his sisters and brother together.
Present day, in Aiken, South Carolina, Avery Staffords is the daughter of a U.S. senator with a career as an assistant D.A. in Baltimore, Maryland. She is planning her wedding when suddenly her world tips upside down the day her father becomes ill. She returns home to help and finds out about her hidden past.
|Title: Before We Were Yours|
By: Lisa Wingate
Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.13 (inches)|
Weight: 1 pound 4 ounces
Stock No: WW284682
"Advance praise for Before We Were Yours. 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.” —Library Journal
“A fantastic novel . . . Wingate is a compelling storyteller, steeping her narrative with a forward momentum that keeps the reader . . . engaged and curious.”—Publishers Weekly
“Lisa Wingate takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nation’s history and weaves a tale of enduring power. That Georgia Tann and her Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society could actually exist, unraveling the lives of countless children, stealing their pasts and changing their futures, will give you chills. But the real feat of this stirring novel is how deeply Wingate plunges us into the heart and mind of twelve-year-old river gypsy Rill Foss. Rill’s utterly singular voice will stay with you long after the last page is turned, as will Wingate’s courage to follow her anywhere. . . . Vivid and affecting.”—Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of Circling the Sun
“A powerful tale of family, of sisters, of secrets kept and secrets shared. I absolutely loved this book. I’m still basking in the afterglow, in shock at the true-crime elements, in awe at the journey of these characters who seem to have immortal souls.”—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
“An unforgettable read . . . This captivating novel will quite likely break your heart, but because it’s Lisa Wingate at the helm, you will not be left broken. She is a master storyteller and never fails to get to the heart of what makes us hold on to hope.”—Susan Meissner, author of Secrets of a Charmed Life
“Lisa Wingate’s heart-racing tale of a family ripped apart by the Tennessee Children’s Home Society scandal rang so true I couldn’t sleep until I knew their fate.”—Julie Kibler, author of Calling Me Home
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.
"Before We Were Yours is sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year. . . . [Lisa] Wingate is a master-storyteller, and youll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tanns legacy."Parade
"One of the years best books . . . It is almost a cliché to say a book is lovingly written but that phrase applies clearly to Lisa Wingates latest novel, Before We Were Yours. This story about children taken from their parents through kidnapping or subterfuge and then placed for adoption, for a price, clearly pours out of Wingates heart. . . . It is impossible not to get swept up in this near-perfect novel. It invades your heart from the very first pages and stays there long after the book is finished. Few novelists could strike the balance this story requires but Wingate does it with assurance. There are a lot of books that will catch your eye this summer, some from our best storytellers. Make sure this one is on your radar. It should not be missed."The Huffington Post
"[An] affecting new novel."The New York Post
"Every now and then a novel comes along that sweeps me off my reading feet. Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate, is such a book. . . . Its a great book-club read, one of those books that teaches you something, gives you lots to discuss and even more to think about. . . . Take note: This may be the best book of the year."Shreveport Times
"This story is heartfelt and genuine, especially as Wingate explores the idea of home and family from a youngsters point of view."Historical Novels Review
"Lisa Wingate takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nations history and weaves a tale of enduring power. That Georgia Tann and her Memphis Tennessee Childrens Home Society could actually exist, unraveling the lives of countless children, stealing their pasts and changing their futures, will give you chills. But the real feat of this stirring novel is how deeply Wingate plunges us into the heart and mind of twelve-year-old river gypsy Rill Foss. Rills utterly singular voice will stay with you long after the last page is turned, as will Wingates courage to follow her anywhere. . . . Vivid and affecting."Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of Circling the Sun
"A powerful tale of family, of sisters, of secrets kept and secrets shared. I absolutely loved this book. Im still basking in the afterglow, in shock at the true-crime elements, in awe at the journey of these characters who seem to have immortal souls."Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet