Thursday 18 April 2019

Before We Were Yours

I picked up a copy of Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Really impressive story, based on true events.

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 fiancĂ©, 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.

Well narrated and very atmospheric. Something of Little Gods about some of the descriptive of the river. 

Nicely handled examination of a difficult period in history, and there's an excellent note from the author at the end of the book providing a bit more insight into the real events that inspired the story. I definitely enjoyed this one, and there was a nice romantic side story which pulled you along.  

I picked this book up without knowing what it was about, and glad I did. A worthwhile read and a long, winding journey to open waters.

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