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I'm not sure what led me to Before We Were Yours (Ballantyne Books, 2017) by Lisa Wingate, but I'm sure glad I found the book. This historical novel was inspired by the terrible practices of Georgia Tann and the Memphis Tennessee Children's Home where children--especially blond children--were stolen from their parents to be sold (via expensive adoption fees) to families needing children.
Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her three younger sisters and brother live with their parents on a Mississippi River shantyboat. Tragedy strikes when the children are taken away while their parents are at the hospital and the children are put in an orphanage. One by one Rill loses her siblings.
Juxtaposed with that story is modern day Avery Stafford. From a wealthy and influential family, this woman, who is a federal prosecutor, has a chance encounter with a woman at a nursing home that makes her worry about family secrets. Specifically with her grandmother who is in a "memory unit" and doesn't necessarily recognize Avery when she visits.
As I read Iwondered, are these two families really connected? And if so, how bad is the discovery going to be?
The book is difficult to put down. And now I want to read more by Lisa Wingate. Fortunately, the author of this bestselling book has lots more to read. Read about her here.
(Isn't it great to see a best selling book that's also a clean read?)
SM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too. She also loves assisting other writers on their journeys.