Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

A Novel

Book - 2017
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Sep 20, 2020

The incredibly sad story of children who were taken from their family and put into adoption in Tennessee by Georgia Tann. Lives were broken and eternally changed. But some seemed to overcome even the worst circumstances and thrive.

Sep 18, 2020

A compelling read based on real life events surrounding a Tennessee adoption agency. A real eye opener into some sad US history.

Sep 12, 2020

This is not my "normal" type of book, but I was intrigued by the fact that this was based on true and unimaginable events surrounding an infamous orphanage. I found myself listening late into the night because I couldn't wait to see how things turned out. Great book, and great narration!

Sep 05, 2020

Hard to put this novel down...compelling story based on true life depiction of a truly sad chapter in US history. Story is divided into two time periods (past and present) and loved the storyline based on Rill and her family. The present tense storyline with Avery at the centre is not quite as interesting but delves into the often illegal depths families will undertake to adopt a child from the criminals who run these so-called adoption agencies. I very much enjoyed this book and would certainly recommend it to anyone searching their family roots.

JCLHeatherM Aug 30, 2020

A haunting tale of love, loss, and family, this historical fiction piece is one that will stay with you long after you put it down. Based on the horrifically true tales from the Tennessee Children Home, where young children (even infants) were snatched from their families and sold off to wealthy individuals willing to pay big money for adoptions, this novel is split into two parts that coincide at the end for a memorable reunion.

ReadingAdviser_Lori Aug 24, 2020

This book is based on the unscrupulous Tennessee Children's Home Society which operated from the 1920s to 1951. The story is told by two narrators. Rill is a child who ends up in a home operated by the Society with her younger siblings. Avery is a lawyer who happens to meet 90 year-old Rill in the present-day. She discovers that Rill's past and the past of her famous political family are somehow intertwined. Avery is compelled to investigate the mysterious and secretive past that someone has been hiding.

cfitzer1 Aug 12, 2020

Novel 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. Interesting story based on some historical facts of Mississippi in the 1930's-40's.

Jul 26, 2020

A true adoption story with a twist. Good read

patcumming Jul 15, 2020

Cleverly told story about a shameful chapter in American history when children were stolen and sold. Wingate expertly unfolds the mystery behind the politically prominent Stafford family. This is a great read.

Jun 20, 2020

Fascinating story. Especially for anyone who is trying to understand adoption issues. Fictional character - but real life situation!

May 04, 2020

Rec. J. Chan

Mar 02, 2020

This isn't normally "my type" of book but let me say how glad I am I continued to read it (The beginning bored me a bit) but HOLY SMOKES! I would have to put the book down and take a breath because I was so overwhelmed with the stories, I loved the switch between the past and the present. I loved how so many stories were being shared and OBVIOUSLY once I finished I googled all about that horrid woman. Knowing that this place was very real, knowing how disgusting of a person Georgia Tann was made the story that much more intriguing. I'm definitely going to do the same in future and venture away from "my type" of books because I could NOT put it down. Love love loved it!

Feb 10, 2020

I love a story that grips me from the beginning. It's a sad story but it's about history I never heard about before. I've found a new author to check out other of her books. I really enjoyed this!

Feb 03, 2020

I did not care for the book at all. I dislike books that so obviously manipulate the reader. You know what the ending will likely be from the beginning, but keep reading to see how it comes about. And the major question one is trying to answer is never fully resolved.

Jan 17, 2020

"A powerful tale of family, of sisters, of secrets kept and secrets shared"...of white people in 1939?

FPL_SheriS Jan 13, 2020

Wonderfully crafted historical fiction exploring historic and current issues. Lisa Wingate develops charming characters that withstand horrific events, and while not glossing over the damage done manages to build a story of hope.

Jan 09, 2020

Sad to read this ficticious account of a sad chapter in American history, that is similar to Canadian residential schools ripping children from their families. Luckily Wingate is an excellent author to make this story flow so warmly as we delve into the intertwined lives of several people.

Nov 22, 2019

This was such a great book...very well written...had a hard time putting the book down.

mazinwhistler Oct 29, 2019

So I will be honest that the cover of this book did not appeal to me at all (I think it is the font that title is in) and for this reason I nearly didn't bother with it but a colleague had recommended it so I decided to give it a go. And, boy I am so glad I did. This book is amazing! Wingate has a delightful way with words and the story, whilst fiction is based on her research regarding the topic. If you are in for a tearjerker this is the book for you!

FPL_John Oct 28, 2019

This was a very moving book. Although fiction, it's based on actual events. From the beginning you think you know what's going on, but as the book proceeds you realize that there is much more going on than you realize. This is a chapter in our history that doesn't make it into the textbooks, but I was fascinated. I had no idea that all these things had happened. The book is well written and the story is engrossing.

Oct 21, 2019

Years ago, our book club read a book about children that were taken from women and families who were arrested as dissidents in Argentina during the 1970s and 1980s and given to childless military or wealthy pro-government couples. We were all horrified. Now, we know that even without a “militant” or fascist government, this was going on in the U.S. which makes it more shocking because it happened right under our noses and, with the approval of so many active community elders. Lisa Wingate writes a heartbreaking but valuable story about an ugly part of our culture and community. Excellent book discussion book.

Sep 23, 2019

Great story. Four children living on a shanty boat are taken from their parents and put into an orphanage to be sold to rich clients. Abuse and tearing family apart. Current times cross paths with the past.

Sep 04, 2019

This book reminded me of The House Girl. So much so that I had to go and look it up to check if they were written by the same author. They're not.

Both books alternate chapters between a really compelling story from the past and a modern day character who is somehow tied to the historical story. In both cases, the modern day character adds very little to the overall story apart from making you wish you could get to the next chapter already to get back to the good parts.

I liked this book, but I'd have liked it more without so much intrusion from the present.

Aug 28, 2019

A simply fantastic novel. The writer (Lisa Wingate) moves the story between past and present, creating great story tension so you can hardly wait to get from one to the other and to try and figure out the connections between the two time periods. It's a story, both sad and uplifting at the same time with so many nooks and crannies of left out story, that it feels all the more real. Nothing in real life ever works out completely. There are always so many unresolved issues -as is true with this novel. I read tons of mysteries and thrillers - this story will hold your attention with the best of them.

Aug 13, 2019

The story looked good but wasn't; too much back and forth between past and present.

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