Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Before We Were Yours

Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale.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 arriv...

Details Before We Were Yours

TitleBefore We Were Yours
Release DateJun 6th, 2017
PublisherBallantine Books
Number of pages352 pages
GenreHistorical, Fiction, Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Adult, Christian Fiction, Parenting, Adoption, Young Adult, Romance, Womens Fiction

Reviews Before We Were Yours

  • Carol
    Oh. My. Goodness. What a great read..... If you're ready for a story you can really sink your teeth into with characters that virtually come to life, here you go. "Adoption matron may have been most prolific serial killer." BEFORE WE WERE YOURS takes the reader on a heartbreaking, but mesmerizing journey depicting shocking truths about the real life Tennessee Children's Home Society that was active from the 1920's thru organization th...
  • Jamie
    One of the perks of being a reasonably successful author is that the FedEx man regularly brings me Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) of soon-to-be-published novels. These are sent by editors who are hoping I'll read the book and offer a blurb, which will then go on the back of the book.The latest was BEFORE WE WERE YOURS by Lisa Wingate. I just finished it and am sort of wallowing in the post-novel afterglow, completely blown away. This was such a pow...
  • Dorie
    I was blown away by this story and the great writing! I’ve never read a novel by Ms.Wingate but I will certainly be looking for more of her books.This novel tells the historically correct story about the Tennessee Children’s Home Society which was run by Georgia Tann in the late 1930’s. The story of the main characters was fiction but based on what really happened to many of the children in this orphanage.The plot is written from two points...
  • Jill Croce-McGill
    I was completely blown away by this powerful and heart-wrenching story about family, love, perseverance, and loss! This novel was inspired by the horrifying true events of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, run by Georgia Tann from the 1920’s-1950’s. The plot is written from two points of view, weaving between past and present, this is the story of how one family’s past has shaped its present. Lisa Wingate’s writing is absolutely fl...
  • Kristie
    This was an excellent story inspired by real life events of which I was previously unaware. For once, I have to admit that the comparison in the blurb is good. This is similar to The Orphan Train in pacing and concept. Both books surround events in history that I didn’t know of until reading the books and both tell the story of children that survived ordeals in their childhood that no one should have to go through. This book is based upon the e...
  • Cass ☘
    I hadn't heard of Lisa Wingate and not really being familiar with historical novels, I did my research. The synopsis states that this novel is "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". I knew of the Orphan Trains, but that little gem escaped me. Once I started reading 'Before ...
  • Karen
    I received this ARC from in exchange for a review. This fictionalized story is based on the true events of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society which was organized and run by Georgia Tann in the late 1930’s. Rill Foss and her siblings are taken away from their parents and shoved into the adoption scheme of Tann. This interesting book is well written and kept me wondering how the two story lines of May and Avery would eventually...
  • Patty
    Thank to First To Read for an advance copy of this book for an honest review. I absolutely loved this book. I don't read many historical fiction books because they often seem to be more of a history lesson and less of a novel. This is a great novel with the truth of history as its backdrop. What happened at the Tennessee Children's Home is horrific. It is hard to believe a place like this not only existed but thrived.The author does an outstandin...
  • Melissa
    2017-03-17's latest novel is based on horrifying true events from the 1930s and 40s. While a bit slow to start, once it gets going the story is alternately shocking and heart-wrenching, yet ultimately redemptive. Some of the events may be difficult for readers to relate to, but when the ending notes are complete everything makes sense. The historical storyline is much more in-depth and meaningful than the mode...
  • Sarah Yee
    I received an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.I love Lisa Wingate's books, and "Before We Were Yours" is her most captivating yet! She can always be depended on to pen a fascinating story - without any of the tawdry gimmicks that so many authors rely on. This book, which centers around the true story of the illicit adoptions perpetrated by the Tennessee Children's Home Society that took place 1920s-1950, can best be summarized ...
  • Bookclubcheerleader
    Both heartbreaking and soul-affirming! This novel is about family--both those you are born with and those who love you later. And it's a wonderful sister story...Lisa also tells about a shameful period in Tennessee history. If you loved Orphan Train, be prepared to fall in love with Rill and her siblings!
  • Sharon Metcalf
    4.5 starsBefore We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate was a beautifully told reality based work of fiction.   It was moving and often disturbing, yet from start to finish it captured my interest.    Stories that alternate between the past and the present don't always work well for me but this one certainly did.   Right from the outset I was invested in the fate of the characters in each of the threads and was always eager to return for their next ...
  • Judy Collins
    WOW!! Move this one to the "top" of your reading list! Review to follow.
  • Carla Stewart
    Powerful and heart-wrenching tale from the pages of history. From the opening prelude, I was hooked on Lisa Wingate’s newest novel. I’m a longtime fan of her sumptuous writing and can honestly say that each book seems better than the last. Knowing Before We Were Yours was based on a real life tragedy that spanned decades made an even greater impact on me as a mom imagining the plight of the Foss children and scores of others. My heart wrenche...
  • Linda
    Lisa Wingate is one of my all-time favorite authors. I always wait expectantly for new books and this was no exception. I'm a part of her Sisterhood of the Traveling Books, where we get advanced books to read and pass through our Sister circles, making comments in the margins and leaving notes for Lisa throughout. Today, I was given the chance to read the first two chapters of this book...and it is so good. Lisa's writing draws me in from page on...
  • Marialyce
    5 amazing but heart breaking stars.I have received this novel through the courtesy of NetGallery.A book such as this one is why I love historical fiction. I so admire an author who can weave a story from what is actually an historical fact. And so it is with this novel. Ms Wingate has given us the fictionalized story of the Floss family whose life as "river rats" was beloved by their children as much as the children were beloved by their parents....
  • Karen
    A well-written story based on tragic real life events, this heart-wrenching novel left me in a book hangover for days. The author takes you to the edge, then puts just enough hope in to keep the reader from despair. A story that needed to be told, with implications for generations. I really liked the present day end of the tale, with the added romance and intertwining of the two main stories. I didn't want to stop reading until I found out what h...
  • Susan Peterson
    Told with stunning imagery, wonderfully fleshed-out characters, and a story that is spellbinding, heart-wrenching, and uplifting...Before We Were Yours tells the story of families torn apart by a horrible injustice, and how revealing the secrets of that past can somehow reunite them. The story is told from two points of view, generations apart; Rill, a 12-year-old river gypsy, who endures unspeakable heartbreak and horrors; and Avery, a young wom...
  • Susan Snodgrass
    When I saw the synopsis of this book, I knew right then that I had to read it. Based in part on the infamous Georgia Tann, who brokered children from the 1920s to 1950 under the auspices of the Tennessee Children's Home Society, it is riveting, heart-wrenching and a compelling read. Tann organized, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country. Five children are stolen one night in 1939 from their family's shanty boat ...
  • Jana
    Lisa Wingate has possibly written her most intriguing and heart wrenching novel yet! This book will take you through a myriad of emotions and not in the most comfortable of situations. I literally felt the characters' fear, anguish, anger, distrust, heartache, and finally peace. The most difficult thing to accept as I read this is that though its characters are fictional, the cruelties of the Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanages did exist...
  • Angela Holland
    When I finished this book last night the first thing I had to say to myself was wow - what a powerful book. I have read all of Lisa's Carolina series and loved each of them and thought they were touching, but this one was even more so. If that is even possible. I had never heard the story of Georgia Tann or the Tennessee Children's Home Society so this was all new to me. From page one I felt horrible for Rill/May and her entire family. I can not ...
  • Chris Unwin
    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 o...
  • Rachel
    Thank you to Netgalley and the Publishers for an ARC. If I could rate this higher than 5 stars I would. Heartbreaking, emotional, captivating..Before we were yours tells the tale of a family ripped apart at the core in Tennessee, 1939. Georgia Tann ran The Tennessee Children's Home Society from the 1930's-50's. Illegally kidnapping and adopting out children of poor families and placing them in the care of those more fortunate.Rill Foss lives with...
  • Danielle
    Thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for the ARC for review. I absolutely LOVED "Before We Were Yours" by Lisa Wingate and am certain that it will be one of the best titles I read all year. The story is reminiscent of the Orphan Train- which is one of my absolute favorite books. "Yours" is both heartbreaking and uplifting. The story follows 12 year-old Rill Foss and her siblings through their life living on a river shanty to the halls of the no...
  • Janette Mcmahon
    The writing is well done, as is the research, in this readable historical fiction novel. Dealing with the theft of children by the Tennessee Children's Home from the 1930's into the 1950's, following one river family. Highly recommend to readers of Orphan Train.
  • Abigail Sands
    Lisa Wingate's historical novel 'Before We Were Yours' is a book I read hour after hour, unable to put down. The story kept me captivated. I feared the worst, hoped for the best, agonized with Rill & the others, encouraging them to hang on through the difficulties. My tears flowed with the knowledge that the atrocities in the story were based on real occurrences in America's not too distant past. When I closed the book after reading the last page...
  • Melissa
    I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for the free advanced reading copy. It is Memphis 1939. Twelve year old Rill Floss is living on shanty boat on the Mississippi River with parents and five siblings. During a bad thunderstorm, the midwife is on the boat to help her mom deliver the new baby. The midwife tells the father the she is giving birth to twins, there is a complication, they must rush her to the hospital, or all of their liv...
  • Danielle Woods
    I received this arc as part of Lisa Wingate's sisterhood of the traveling book circle 3.What an amazing story! I had no idea about Georgia Tank or the orphanage. All those lies and secrets! It was heartbreaking to learn about what the children endured while living in her care. It amazes me that it could go on for so long and be so profitable. What a terrible way to make something that should be so good, so bad. Two of my favorite quotes from the ...
  • Cheryl Wood
    I was blessed to be a part of the Sisterhood Of The Traveling Book. The book was about a well known child-trafficker, Georgia Tann who kidnapped children of wayward mothers and then sold them to wealthy families. The story goes back and forth from past to present. The story follows 12 year-old Rill Foss and her siblings through their life living on a river shanty to the halls of the Tennessee Children's Home Society where her siblings are "sold" ...
  • Patsye
    Another fabulous book from Lisa Wingate, but this one takes a different turn. Lisa has taken actual events, the adoption scandal of The Tennessee Children's Home Society that was exposed in 1950, and has woven an engrossing account of lives changed. It is told in two different voices in two different times, but unlike some books that doesn't prove a distraction. It is very easy to keep it all straight, and it adds to the suspense by taking you up...