Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 384 pages
Audiobook Length: 14 hours and 29 minutes
First Published: 2017
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.
Quotes from Before We Were Yours
But 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.
People don’t come into our lives by accident.
We plan our days, but we don’t control them.
Well, that’s one of the paradoxes of life. You can’t have it all. You can have some of this and some of that or all of this and none of that. We make the trade-offs we think are best at the time.
About Lisa Wingate
Lisa Wingate is an American author who has written over thirty novels and co-authored one nonfiction book, Before and After, with Judy Christie. Her books include Before We Were Yours, The Prayer Box, Tending Roses, and The Book of Lost Friends. She currently lives with her husband in Texas. Visit the author’s website →