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    Worth a read

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review. Before We Were Yours is based on the true story of Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. This abhorent piece of history fascinates me. While it operated, primarily as a means for wealthy childless couples to buy children, it was a well-kept secret. It went on for decades*, which is amazing considering the thousands of children stolen from their parents, as well as the estimated hundreds of children that died in the home. The depth and breadth of the cover-up is unimaginable. As for this book, it does a fair job at telling the story. It is based on the Foss family’s children, who are stolen in the night from their shanty boat. Years later, the sisters are reunited, but decide to keep their story secret. Many years later, a granddaughter, Avery, follows up some strange coincidences, leading her to their past. I would have liked to see a bit more of a fore- or afterword on Georgia Tann and the Home. The story is told from the past viewpoint of Rill Foss and the present viewpoint of Avery. Avery is one of those characters you just don’t connect with. She is engaged to be married, but you know she is going to break it off because of her new love interest, which just doesn’t read true. The author keeps reminding you Avery is a high-powered attorney, yet she can’t make a decision or read the clues in front of her. On the other hand, the stories centering on Rill Foss, were captivating. At 12 years old, Rill is trying to keep her family together after being kidnapped and molested. Her viewpoint is a story of family, love and sacrifice, and Avery just appeared to be self-centered. Avery was such a contrast to Rill, that reading the viewpoints alternately just didn’t work. *It appears Georgia Tann had been a well-respected social worker beginning in the 1920’s, and my cursory research couldn’t find when she “turned.”
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    Fabulous story

    Fabulous read what a sad and haunting story. What the children that this story is based on went through is horrible to think about.
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    Beautiful Yet Shocking Story!

    I was excited to be picked to be apart of Lisa Wingate's Sisterhood of the Traveling Book 2017. I have done this on several occasions and it is a lot of fun. This time the book that we are reading and sharing between "Sisters" is her new book "Before We Were Yours." I am not sure how to write a review on this book. I know I love books that bounce from modern day settings to a historical setting and back to modern day. I know I'm still in a state of shock over a part of twentieth century history I knew nothing about, Memphis Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage and its awful director Georgia Tann. There will always be cruelty in the world. History is full of it. Lisa did a great job sharing with us a part that you and I and many others have heard nothing about. I know there are tears on the edge of my eyes. I know I want to weep for the truths that are a part of this fictional story that is so beautifully told by Lisa Wingate. I know it's a departure from some of Lisa's other styles of books. It isn't my favorite book of Lisa's but I sure do love her stories. May this history never repeat itself!
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    fictional account adoption injustice in the South

    This fiction based on fact story of a riverboat family torn apart by the egregious adoption practices in the early 20th century will break your heart. A moving tale of lives intertwined as they seek the truths from the past, the bond of secret sisterhood, and love. I cried tears of sadness and tears of joy as the saga unfolded before my eyes. I cannot recommend this book enough!
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    Heartwarming, heart tugging, and heart loving

    The dual timelines with dual storylines come together to make the perfect story. The present day story is Avery Stafford’s story. The story of a young woman finding out the history of her family and learning what shaped her grandmother into the woman she became. The past story is Rill’s story. The story of growing up with parents, being taken away, and then having a new family. I LOVED how this story came together. The present and the past came together perfectly, intertwining to tell the story of strength, love, and family. The history of the Tennessee Children’s Society was chilling. There are children in the world that are truly orphans and possibly Ms. Tann saved them by taking them in and placing them with new parents. What chilled me though was the children who were taken from their parents against their wishes just because the parents were poor or the children looked like what adoptive parents were looking for. The idea that a biological parents, who cared for their children, lost their children at Ms. Tann’s whim made my stomach turn. Before We Were Yours is a heartwarming, heart tugging, heart loving story. There is grief, new families, and reconnecting with those once thought lost. I enjoyed every page, chapter, and word of this book. Thank you Melanie DeNardo and Mary Moates at Penguin Random House and NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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