Before We Were Yours

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

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.”*

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.

*Library Journal

Publishers Weekly’s #3 Longest-Running Bestseller of 2017  Winner of the Southern Book Prize  If All Arkansas Read the Same Book Selection 

“A [story] of a family lost and found . . . a poignant, engrossing tale about sibling love and the toll of secrets.”People

“Sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year. . . . Wingate is a master-storyteller, and you’ll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tann’s legacy.”Parade

“One of the year’s best books . . . It is impossible not to get swept up in this near-perfect novel.”The Huffington Post

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Before We Were Yours - Lisa Wingate Book Reviews (2,728)


Before we were Yours5 star

AMAZING!!!!!! 55


Before We Were Yours review5 star

Love this book. The content was disturbing but I could not put it down. A very sad time in history but a very good read. 55


Truly Wonderful5 star

What a treat to read such a well-crafted story. The writing is rich with imagery. At times it is gripping and suspenseful and at others poignant and poetic. Tragedy, suspense, insight and wisdom intertwine creating a complex and moving song that squeezes ones heart. 55


Shush SJSU’s she5 star

Kandisjndksjndskndwkjdnwkjndwkdij 55


Okay3 star

Could have been a good story, but to many wholes 35


A Great read5 star

What a wonderful find! This book is so engrossing I couldn’t put it down. The story is so compelling and well written. It is one of my favorite books of the summer. I didn’t know the story behind this novel and it just mind blowing what these kids and families went through and how it went on for so long with out the public knowing or caring. It is really heartbreaking. I highly recommend this novel, can’t stop thinking about it. 55


Before We Were Yours5 star

Excellent book. Loved the way the author wrote the story...easy to follow and the timelines flow seamlessly..hard to put down. 55


Before we were yours5 star

Wonderful book couldn’t put it down 55


Incredible!5 star

This book will grab your heart and soul, pull you in, and will not let you go until the last word on the last page. And even then, it will linger. Cancel all appointments, turn off your phone, put out the do not disturb sign, have food and drink ready, and prepare for an incredible journey that will give heart-rending insight into the recent outrageous border family separations. Incredible! 55


Excellent!5 star

Loved it! Great story, was surprised to read that it had some factual background. Well done! 55


Great book. Must read!4 star

This book is an emotional tour de force. You will not be able to put it down! 45

Izzy the GREAT!!!:P

Mojouoy huh2 star

Puoi uscire Kwik e t Mike mandry Ukukk My 25


Captivating5 star

The story grabs you and keeps you turning the page. Read the book in two sittings. The story makes you want to learn more about the history of the scandal. 55


Captured from the beginning5 star

This story is heartbreaking but inspiring. The story telling of these sisters life and journey through unthinkable situations leaves you wanting more at every chapters end. 55


Disappointing2 star

I wanted to love this book and really looked forward to reading it.... but I was sorely disappointed. The book is told from two points of view, through Rill Foss, one of the children affected by the adoption scandal and her siblings and in the present day through Avery (a descendent) who stumbles upon a family secret and struggles to solve the puzzle. We could have done without Avery, boring boring boring.... Rill’s family story was tragic yet the ending was all wrapped up in a sickly sweet happy ending.... the truth of this national disgrace is cheapened by the simplistic writing and clumsy plot... 25

mart Jane

Before we were your,s5 star

A great book 55


Before We Were Yours5 star

This book was so intriguing I could not put it down until I finished it! It was recommended to me by my sister! I am aware that this kind of thing happened years ago and really not so sure it doesn't still go on today! It is so sad! Human trafficking is a similar problem today! I am from a large family and I myself have 18 grandchildren and 4 great grands. I can't imagine losing one of them to either of these situations! I enjoyed reading this book and will now read others by this author! Thank you! Vivian Roffey East Peoria Il 55

Ignite (xxvexatious)

🎀😍💖🤞🏻👌🏻5 star

Didn’t read it yet but I’ve bought the hardcover book and read the description and first page. By reading this I could already tell the book is outstanding as I hear the main character’s voice coming out of the book in my mind. From what I can tell the book is based on a story of children’s adoption and how the main character’s story or adventure began. 55

Mel WS

Wonderfully written book about a very sad story.4 star

I’m good read! I just can’t believe this actually happened. Just horrible. The book keeps you guessing and wanting more. I enjoyed it. 45


Amazing Read5 star

I never write reviews but HAD to write one for this amazing book. I read a lot and this book has become one of my favorites instantly. It is a beautiful story inspired by the truth that shows honor for the families and children while really keeping the reader engaged. 55

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