Before We Were Yours: A Novel
by Lisa Wingate
Hardcover- $13.59

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

For readers of Orphan Train and The ...

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  "" by KM (see profile) 07/06/17

  "A story that will capture your heart!" by thewanderingjew (see profile) 07/11/17

Before We Were Yours: A Novel, Lisa Wingate, author, Catherine Taber, narrator
Based on a horrific truth in our history, this is a story that vacillates between heartbreaking and hopeful. It begins in 1939 with Rill Foss narrating her family history and ends in the present day with Avery Stafford telling her family’s story. It is based on the crimes and cruelty of the very real Georgia Tann and her involvement with the Memphis branch of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. According to the author “Georgia Tann was once heralded as the “Mother of Modern Adoption” and was even consulted by Eleanor Roosevelt on matters of child welfare.” Truth is often stranger than fiction!
The early story is about the Foss family: Briny, Queenie, Rill, Lark, Fern, Camellia, and Gabion. The oldest was Rill who was 12. The youngest was Gabe who was 2. Rill was in charge of keeping all of them safe when their dad Briny took their mom Queenie to the hospital to deliver her twins. At that time, the children were all spirited away, basically kidnapped by the police who were working with Georgia Tann. Their parents were tricked into giving them up, unaware that the papers they signed in the hospital gave up their rights to them. The year was 1939 and for the next several decades, each of their lives traveled in different directions. They were taken to an orphanage, eventually adopted and separated. Because the story is based on facts, on a cruel hoax that was actually perpetuated by someone who stole children and made money basically selling them for adoption to wealthy and/or famous people, it steals the heart of the reader. Georgia Tann’s prominence kept the truth about her adoption scheme from coming out for at least three decades, from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. The cruelty to which the children were subjected often resulted in tragedy. They were fed poorly, treated very unkindly, often abused in the most awful ways and punished unmercifully, except on those occasions when they were cleaned up and paraded out for adoption. The stories about their backgrounds were made up out of whole cloth, and their names were changed to prevent them from being traced and retaken by their birth parents. Hospital staff and law enforcement was often in collusion with her. Records were sealed to prevent the discovery of the truth. Oddly enough, some of the children were actually rescued from abusive homes and many of the stolen children did relatively well in later life, in spite of what they experienced; some were adopted by decent families, some by prominent families; but some also suffered in their new environments. Some achieved an education and life they would not have otherwise been able to, but nothing can change the fact that they were basically kidnapped and ransomed to strangers leaving their families in despair.
The present day story takes place when Avery Stafford meets May Crandall in a nursing home. She is struck by the difference in the level of care that her grandmother receives in another facility, but pleased that this place is well staffed and well maintained. When May mistakes her for someone else, the wheels begin to turn that lead to the discovery of her grandmother’s secret past. Although she is warned to let sleeping dogs lie, in order to protect the reputation of her father, a Senator up for reelection, and her own political future, she keeps trying to unravel the mystery. When she does, it changes her life’s path in almost as dramatic a way as that of the Foss children after leaving the Arcadia. Her investigation uncovers the story of the Foss children and her family’s involvement and connection to their lives. Will the ramifications of uncovering the truth be worth it?
I have read some reviews that said the author missed the mark in some aspects of the book, but I can't help feeling that those reviews may have been written by men who identify with books on a different emotional level. I felt totally immersed in the lives of all the characters and felt as if I knew each and every one on a personal level. The audio narrator portrayed each voice authentically and with just the right amount of accent and emotion. I highly recommend this website for further very enlightening information.

  "before we were yours`" by Carolynr (see profile) 07/23/17

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 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 redemption

  "" by Saracasey (see profile) 07/26/17

  "An engaging page turner" by jpernarelli (see profile) 08/16/17

I was hooked from the beginning. A tragic, fictional tale based on the true events of young, poor children taken from their parents and placed for adoption in a child trafficking ring. Heartbreaking yet mesmerizing.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/21/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/30/17

Great read! Interesting to learn facts of adoption & the Tennessee Children's Home Society in this era.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/08/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/12/17

This book was very informative on a period of time often overlooked in US History. The scandals and horrific events about traffic children. This is a great story with many struggles and underling themes. There is a quote from the book that I believe could sum up life. "Life is not unlike cinema. Each scene has its own music, and the music is created for the scene, woven to it in ways we do not understand. 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. I let go of the river’s song and found the music of that big house." I would highly recommend this book.

  "" by dianagraalum (see profile) 09/14/17

Well written

  "" by mrietze (see profile) 09/15/17

  "Another informative topic on a very sad practice." by [email protected] (see profile) 09/15/17

Our book club members had never heard of this awful part of adoption history. The story was good but a bit confusing with so many name changes within the characters. A good read and good discussion.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/20/17

  "Before We Were Yours: A Novel" by lindabeh55 (see profile) 09/20/17

A beautiful, if heartbreaking, novel. This story is fiction, but based on true events regarding trafficking children. It was a page turner. I highly recommend this book.

  "" by rms516 (see profile) 09/21/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/27/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/27/17

I really enjoyed this book! Listening to it made it so real.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/27/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/27/17

Loved it.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/27/17

  "Before We Were Yours" by abbeyonekanobe (see profile) 09/29/17

Before reading this book I had no idea this happened to all of these children. It is so heartbreaking. I really liked this book and think everyone should read it. This should never happen again.

  "Before We Were Yours" by mkress (see profile) 09/29/17

I could not put this book down! There are two stories--one takes place in 1939 & one present day--both tied together. It is heartbreaking & sad to see how families were torn apart, & that cruel heartless people like Georgia Tann were able to get away with what they did for so many years. I loved the strength these children had to survive, & that some were able to find each other again years later. It is a wonderful book & I highly recommend it!!

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/30/17

  "" by wisamyounis (see profile) 10/06/17

  "" by pjnickel (see profile) 10/08/17

  "" by Djbg1 (see profile) 10/10/17

  "" by kimsparks (see profile) 10/13/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/15/17

  "" by maureenapap (see profile) 10/22/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/22/17

Beautifully written historical fiction from a real chapter in the Great Depression. The plight of these children stolen from their families will break your heart.

  "" by Gerigirl43 (see profile) 10/23/17

  "Before We Were Yours" by Franh (see profile) 10/24/17

This book was about a historic account of kidnapping in the USA that was hard to believe. The author did an amazing job of bringing to life the children, their feelings, and how awful it was for the parents who lost their children.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/25/17

  "Excellent Story" by csmith48 (see profile) 10/31/17

This book held my attention from start to finish. The characters were well developed and I read the book quickly because it held my attention. Sad to know that the book is based on an actual orphanage that was located in Memphis,Tn.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/04/17

I enjoyed it. It was especially interesting (but sad) knowing that, although the characters were fictional, the people and events were based on similar things that happened.

  "" by jenniferbraun7 (see profile) 11/05/17

  "Engrossing read" by clpurser1972 (see profile) 11/05/17

This story drew me in and I was sad when it ended. The book is well-written and I fell in love with the characters. There's a touch of mystery, adventure, and the struggle for survival.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/10/17

  "" by Beth4Books (see profile) 11/10/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/13/17

  "Before We Were Yours." by orthofoot (see profile) 11/16/17

Unanimously given 5 stars by the members in attendance p.

  "" by yteich (see profile) 11/20/17

  "" by LindaLegault1 (see profile) 12/02/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/05/17

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  "" by kwakefield (see profile) 12/12/17

  "Another great book from Lisa Wingate" by Patsye (see profile) 12/17/17

Another fabulous book from Lisa Wingate, but this one takes a different turn. Lisa has taken actual events, the adoption scandal of The Tennessee Children's Home Society that was exposed in 1950, and has woven an engrossing account of lives changed. It is told in two different voices in two different times, but unlike some books that doesn't prove a distraction. It is very easy to keep it all straight, and it adds to the suspense by taking you up to a point and then pulling you back to a different aspect of the story. The characters are well developed, and you are allowed to peel back the layers slowly to get the big picture. As Rill's story unfolds, you are held spellbound by the unrelenting sadness of her situation, and horrified by the fact that these things really happened to some children. Wingate has a gift for imagery that pulls you into a scene. But in true Lisa Wingate fashion, there are also plenty of happier moments to relieve the sadness and many truths uncovered. Avery's story gives some interesting insights into how political families live their lives on display. She wasn't the most sympathetic character in the beginning, but she did grow on me as she learned to be more aware of her own aspirations and feelings. A well-crafted new effort from Wingate, it is one of those books you can't put down and you don't want to end!

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/18/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/29/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/10/18

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  "" by mcomai (see profile) 01/10/18

  "" by meljanik (see profile) 01/10/18

  "Very moving" by lpollinger (see profile) 01/15/18

In the year 1939 Georgia Tann is the director of a Memphis based adoption organization that kidnapped and sold children from poor families to the rich and famous. There were politicians involved who kept what they knew to themselves. Children were abused and mistreated horribly until they were placed with wealthy families where their lives did change for the better, but this left the biological parents in turmoil never knowing what happened to their children, having been told some died at birth or informed in order to get care for the children they needed to sign over temporary custody, which was a lie. They were signing over parental rights.
While this is a book of fiction, it is based on true events. One cannot truly understand the horrors these children suffered.

  "" by haz36 (see profile) 01/16/18

  "Slow start but good in the end" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/20/18

Can't believe this stuff happened in real life! Once the story gets moving the book is a good one!

  "" by jjaclin (see profile) 01/20/18

  "Insightful into the early adoption business" by djyennie (see profile) 01/20/18

I loved the writing -- the twists of phrase like those used to explain living on the water or memories. I kept reading to find out how everyone was linked.

The author did a great job presenting the historical nasty truths underlying the early adoption business and resulting longer-term family implications.

It accurately captured southern life both of the past and present.

  "" by Rebecca (see profile) 01/21/18

  "" by Eviee2013 (see profile) 01/23/18

  "" by jeanjce (see profile) 01/24/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/25/18

  "Before We were Yours" by texschutz (see profile) 01/25/18

Compelling perspective on how children were sometimes treated in a system that pretended to do good.

  "" by arizonamom (see profile) 01/26/18

  "" by cynsim (see profile) 01/27/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/27/18

  "Before we were yours" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/27/18

Great book!! Once I got used to the writing style (past tense & then present tense), I didn't want to put it down!
Great story with some historical information included that I did not know about before.

  "" by niferwolfe (see profile) 01/28/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/09/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/10/18

Liked it & felt is was easy to read

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/12/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/15/18

  "Very engaging novel" by carolkaskin (see profile) 02/17/18

This book met with the approval of all of the book club members because it flowed beautifully and told two compelling stories.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/18/18

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  "" by annethomson (see profile) 02/21/18

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  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/22/18

  "A sad but beautiful story..." by dionrenee (see profile) 02/22/18

Another book outside my usual genre that I really enjoyed. Thank You Book Club : )
It's a painful story of a family torn apart and the journey of the oldest child to try to keep them together under horrible circumstances. I had never heard the story of Georgia Tann and Tennessee Children's Home and as I read the book and wondered, could this be based on true events? Only to find out that evil woman actually did these horrific things. I love that the story dives into how you may think you know your past history but you may never know all of the secrets and sacrifices made by our grandparents and beyond. This story was one that I could not get enough of.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/25/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/26/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/26/18

  "Good for Middle Schoolers" by castellj (see profile) 02/26/18

I'm rounding up from 2.5. It was okay but I can't say I 100% liked it. The two main obstacles for not liking this book more were: 1) Avery, the present day main character, who for a high-power DC lawyer, acts like a love-stricken Nancy Drew, and; 2) Given the deplorable subject of child abuse, the story wraps up all too prettily in a pink bow. The book is informative but I would recommend it for 5-6th graders.

The book did make me think though, how much has changed in the last 70-80 years? There continue to be horrible challenges with the foster care system and cases of human trafficking. The book does offer food for thought.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/27/18

  "" by LoriLichstrahl (see profile) 02/27/18

  "" by lyndafio (see profile) 03/01/18

  "" by Schuneman (see profile) 03/02/18

  "" by maria11 (see profile) 03/03/18

  "" by KSherwood (see profile) 03/07/18

  "" by tiffdavies (see profile) 03/08/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/09/18

  "Don't skip this read!" by Bodacious (see profile) 03/09/18

Well written story about the good vs evil when children are taken from their home and adopted.
Wingate made al the characters come to life; We loved Rill/May!

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/10/18

  "" by madangel (see profile) 03/11/18

  "" by stella1234 (see profile) 03/14/18

  "Outstanding book" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/14/18

This was one of those can’t-put-it-down books. I loved how the 1939 chapters connected with the present day chapters at the end.

  "" by Scolern19 (see profile) 03/19/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/19/18


  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/20/18

  "My Favorite Book of 2017" by Kerrinhp (see profile) 03/21/18

Beautifully written story of a shocking time in American history when human trafficking of children was over looked.

  "" by hercchick (see profile) 03/21/18

  "" by kcharba (see profile) 03/22/18

  "" by KCARMBRESTER (see profile) 03/23/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/23/18

  "interesting topic" by LSakay (see profile) 03/25/18

This was an interesting read, alternated with what others have termed a "Lifetime" movie, and I agree. I enjoy reading books with alternating chapters, narrators, and time periods, adding a different depth and experience to the story. Unfortunately, I felt Wingate's two narrators were worlds apart in other than time period. If the book would have just been about Rill and her siblings' unfortunate journey and abduction by the Tennessee Children's Home Society I would have gobbled it up. The decision to include Avery's modern day perspective and detective work greatly lessened the impact of this book for me. As always, I do appreciate the knowledge I gain from historical fiction and will be definitely researching and exploring more about the horrors Georgia Tann did in the guise of a philanthropist and founder of the Tennessee Children's Home Society.

  "" by bkitchen (see profile) 03/27/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/27/18

  "" by puzzled66 (see profile) 03/27/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/28/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/28/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/28/18

I enjoyed the book. The style of past and present alternating stories was a bit confusing at first but the story was intriguing. It’s horrifying to think this really went on for decades. I’m glad this book brought it to light.

  "" by ccrews (see profile) 03/29/18

  "" by KrissyW12120 (see profile) 04/04/18

  "Before We Were Yours" by dragonmom9917 (see profile) 04/04/18

A captivating fictionalized account of a shameful time in Memphis. An excellent book and good discussion

  "" by tiggermom (see profile) 04/05/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/05/18

  "" by chaggers (see profile) 04/06/18

  "Painful subject." by debaparker (see profile) 04/07/18

I found this subject rather hard to read about. The author does such a wonderful job recreating the children's experience that I often had to put the book down and walk away. Knowing that this place actually existed and that these children were treated in this way was disturbing. Lisa Wingate tackles a difficult subject with a well written novel.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/09/18

  "Before We Were Yours" by madamespitfire (see profile) 04/12/18

This book has the ability to lift you up as you read the descriptive and hard details of these families. I was surprised when I realized this was based on a true story. I really was compelled to continue reading and investigating this very unsettling story in our history. I recommend this book to really look and explore what you could have been in this time.

  "" by ggmom (see profile) 04/12/18

  "" by mhk0604 (see profile) 04/12/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/14/18

I loved this book! There is a little mystery at the end of the book so you don’t know how the two stories are actually connected, till the end.

  "" by terrywoessner (see profile) 04/15/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/16/18

  "" by terran (see profile) 04/17/18

  "" by kmac21m (see profile) 04/18/18

  "Before We Were Yours" by ladydiphil (see profile) 04/18/18

Hard to put down, tug at your heart novel.

  "" by sederlund (see profile) 04/18/18

  "" by jhmidd (see profile) 04/18/18

  "Before We Were Yours" by pkoscinski (see profile) 04/19/18

Nicely written in the "back and forth" in time model typical of many books. Sad but it eventually all works out.

  "Next Door East Readers" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/19/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/24/18

Just blew through this book on vacation. Good pick T! Fast read.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/24/18

  "" by Charlene1 (see profile) 04/25/18

  "Before We Were Yours" by KJmellen (see profile) 04/25/18

Well written story that goes back and forth between past and present. Well paced and kept you wanting to know what happens next. Good discussion on families, secrets, and adoption.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/26/18

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  "Before We Were Yours" by pagersp (see profile) 05/05/18

I enjoyed this book very much. I love to read books based on true stories. The fact that this really happened to children is horrendous, but the book did have a good ending. I could not wait to get to the end to see if the sisters were reunited.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/05/18

  "" by MLA57 (see profile) 05/08/18

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  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/13/18

  "Two Thumbs Up" by cjgreen (see profile) 05/22/18

Our club really liked the book.

  "" by pjrossman (see profile) 05/24/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/28/18

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  "" by bboulo (see profile) 06/26/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 06/27/18

I read this on a whim for a book club I saw advertised. It took me a little more than a day to read it. I was quickly drawn in to the love the sisters shared and the horrible events that they were victim to. I highly recommend this engaging and fascinating book.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/02/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/06/18

  "" by lucydog (see profile) 07/07/18

  "best book of the year for me!" by scotlass66 (see profile) 07/07/18

This was the best book I read all year! I loved the back and forth, the characters, and the story broke my heart.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/08/18

  "" by prauchman (see profile) 07/11/18

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  "Very difficult to read " by lesliepassy (see profile) 07/26/18

I could not get through the book. I found it too disturbing

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/31/18

Loved it

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/31/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/04/18

  "" by Linny (see profile) 08/07/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/10/18

This was such a sad story. I was horrified page after page. Itâ??s unbelievable what these poor children endured under the control of Georgia Tann. It makes me wonder what was going on in other states during those years. To think that many of these kids could have lived through this nightmare to become successful men and women with jobs and families of their own is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit. To think of those who did not survive and died in unthinkable ways is heartbreaking.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/12/18

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  "" by DD Reader (see profile) 08/31/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/03/18

I just finished the book. The story was compelling and I had trouble putting it down. I hope everyone else enjoys it too.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/06/18

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  "" by Ljwagoner (see profile) 09/15/18

A touching story of family lost and recovered. The reader is taken on a journey with 5 children who where taken illegally from their parents and struggle to stay in touch and find one another against a lot of odds.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/20/18

  "" by ksbeckel (see profile) 09/21/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/22/18

Loved it!

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/23/18

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  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/21/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/25/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/26/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/27/18

  "well written" by jcjwalbye (see profile) 10/31/18

Our book club gave it an average rating of 8.32 out of 10. Well researched and we went away wanting to know more about the real life events.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/04/18

  "" by tdroege (see profile) 11/06/18

  "" by Karoly (see profile) 11/06/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/07/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/10/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/11/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/13/18

  "" by Campfield (see profile) 11/15/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/15/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/17/18

  "" by mopsickmom (see profile) 11/17/18

  "" by alissapoole (see profile) 11/21/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/25/18

  "" by [email protected]m (see profile) 11/25/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/29/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/06/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/07/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/08/18

  "" by NikkiRF (see profile) 12/09/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/11/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/12/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/12/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/17/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/18/18

  "" by Suezq647 (see profile) 12/21/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/24/18

  "" by EGarrandes (see profile) 12/27/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/28/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/28/18

I couldn’t stop reading.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/28/18

  "" by ladybug5 (see profile) 01/05/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/07/19

  "" by BBednarek (see profile) 01/09/19

  "" by aderoz (see profile) 01/09/19

  "Before We Were Yours" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/11/19

Very sad, but informative. Never knew such a thing existed.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/11/19

It was a good book! The book should of skipped the romance part!

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/12/19

  "" by sltaylor (see profile) 01/12/19

  "Before we were yours" by buffalogal (see profile) 01/12/19

A story about improper, if not illegal, adoption, written with chapters alternating between the past and the present day. You grew to care deeply about the characters and by half way through, I was hooked. Difficult to understand how adults could treat children and use them to their benefit . A fairly quick read.

  "" by dbublik (see profile) 01/13/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/16/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/16/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/24/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/25/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/27/19

  "" by mollyryan (see profile) 01/27/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/31/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/31/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/02/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/02/19

  "" by Melvina (see profile) 02/02/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/02/19

  "" by pslozak (see profile) 02/08/19

  "" by mommasue (see profile) 02/08/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/11/19

  "" by kcon (see profile) 02/16/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/17/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/17/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/22/19

  "" by HeatherH (see profile) 03/07/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/07/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/10/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/19/19

As a BOOKCLUB we thought it was a “page turner” and highly recommend this book!

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/22/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/25/19

  "" by halina (see profile) 03/27/19

  "" by buggstang3082 (see profile) 03/29/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/30/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/02/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/10/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/13/19

  "" by mannaria (see profile) 04/15/19

  "" by Nancybee1974 (see profile) 04/18/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/22/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/24/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/28/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/02/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/04/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/06/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/07/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/08/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/16/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/16/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/20/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/21/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/25/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/25/19

  "" by bainvaughn (see profile) 05/31/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 06/01/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 06/07/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 06/09/19

  "" by ebach (see profile) 06/10/19

I’m glad I read “A Note From the Author” (at the back of the book, before the “Acknowledgements”) before I read BEFORE WE WERE YOURS. I appreciated more the chapters of this book that otherwise would have seemed exaggerated.

BEFORE WE WERE YOURS is told in alternating chapters, some in present day told from the point of view of Avery Stafford, who is being groomed to take over her father’s senate seat. The majority of the other chapters begin in 1939 and are told from the point of view of Rill Foss, the eldest of five children who were stolen from their parents and experienced the horrors of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage and corrupt adoption practices.

Rill’s chapters seem over-the-top exaggerated. But, although Rill and her brother and sisters are fiction, their experiences at this orphanage are all based on the experiences of people who really were orphans there. And Georgia Tann was real; although she seems too horrible, she really was.

These chapters that are based on fact make BEFORE WE WERE YOURS worth reading. The other chapters seem more like a sweet story you might see on the Lifetime channel. (I guess they do serve as relief from Rill’s very depressing life.)

  "" by jcunningham (see profile) 06/25/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 06/26/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/01/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/05/19

  "" by Usutaa (see profile) 07/06/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/06/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/09/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/11/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/22/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/24/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/28/19

  "" by Chrissg (see profile) 07/30/19

  "" by Rosensteph (see profile) 08/03/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/03/19

  "" by krisshannon (see profile) 08/06/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/06/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/10/19

Loved this story. It’s beautifully written and makes you feel the lengths that a sister will go to keep her family together.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/13/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/16/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/20/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/21/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/30/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/30/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/01/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/09/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/11/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/17/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/20/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/21/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/22/19

  "" by Hindsnorth (see profile) 09/27/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/27/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/30/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/02/19

Loved it!

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/04/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/11/19

  "" by PatDaniel (see profile) 10/14/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/21/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/22/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/23/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/30/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/31/19

  "" by annevogt (see profile) 11/01/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/03/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/04/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/04/19

We gave this a B+.

  "A heart-breaking story with a happy ending" by mabook (see profile) 11/05/19

This novel is based on the true story of the Tennessee Children's Home Society scandal from the 1920s - 1950s. The families and children portrayed in this novel are realistic (some parts seem just a tad unlikely to have happened) and you can't help rooting for the 'good guys'. It is a gripping read. I highly recommend this book.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/08/19

  "" by mrstodd (see profile) 11/08/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/08/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/09/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/11/19

  "" by mpaniaguatej (see profile) 11/26/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/26/19

  "" by BBL713 (see profile) 12/05/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/14/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/16/19

Enjoyed reading this one even though the subject matter was sad. It was interesting to read and to research the true events that this book was based on.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/17/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/17/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/24/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/24/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/28/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/29/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/04/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/04/20

  "" by Sew4scraps (see profile) 01/10/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/15/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/17/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/21/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/23/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/23/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/27/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/31/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/31/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/07/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/08/20

  "" by pegt57 (see profile) 02/08/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/09/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/12/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/15/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/20/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/24/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/25/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/27/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/28/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/29/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/03/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/03/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/03/20

I was addicted to it and couldn’t wait to get in my car and in traffic to listen to it. Great recommendation!

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/10/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/10/20

  "" by nellysteele (see profile) 03/10/20

  "Highly recommend this book" by CarpBookClub (see profile) 03/14/20

I loved this book. It was heart breaking at times, but very well written and would be a great book to discuss at book club

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/15/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/21/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/25/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/28/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/30/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/09/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/10/20

Another long book that doesn’t have a clear conflict a protagonist and antagonist or a resolution of conflict. The writing is not bad but if you were looking for a story keep looking

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/12/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/20/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/24/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/27/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/01/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/02/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/10/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/16/20

I liked the river gypsy focus and Rillâ??s description of her life on the river. The relationships she had with her sisters is heart-warming. I didnâ??t care for Averyâ??s narration until the end of the book.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/22/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 06/04/20

  "" by Wits-End (see profile) 06/04/20

  "Before We Were Yours" by Marcia55 (see profile) 06/10/20

We really liked this book. It opened our eyes to events that we were unaware of.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 06/14/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 06/24/20

  "" by jame4k (see profile) 06/29/20

  "" by krilljack (see profile) 07/04/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/15/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/18/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/19/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/26/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/26/20

  "" by Abby0814 (see profile) 07/31/20

  "A Journey in Discovering Self" by SKLipp$ (see profile) 08/03/20

The Foss family loved the twists and turns of living on the river, but they never expected to be "sold down the river!" After their parents seek medical care at a Memphis hospital regarding the delivery of premature and unexpected twins, the children are taken from their home by the TN Children’s Home Society. This page-turner tells the story of Rill Foss' journey to keep the family together and to someday reunite her siblings. Memories fade, but the love found on the river are hard to shake loose. In the end, being your "real or true" self and to be loved for it, is more important than public image.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/04/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/05/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/09/20

I enjoyed this book, it was a sweet story and sad that something like this does happen.

  "" by laureensa (see profile) 08/11/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/14/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/14/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/19/20

  "" by tlctlcx2 (see profile) 08/20/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/20/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/03/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/04/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/15/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/20/20

Gut wrenching story.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/25/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/27/20

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