• Ms. Coffey

"Before We Were Yours" by Lisa Wingate

4 out of 5 stars

Published by Ballantine Books on June 6th, 2017

342 Pages

Genre: fiction

Format: audiobook

Read in 1 month

Read in 10 sittings

Sat on TBR for 1 year

"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." (Goodreads)


The plot pleasantly switches between the past and present as it shows the bond of family and how important it is. My only issue was a slight lack of engagement with the storyline. I didn't find myself eager to read every page, but more of a leisure read-along. (+.5)

The setting in this book was devastating. The world was vividly described and heartbreaking to read. (+1)

The writing style was straightforward and simple with a few words that I had never seen before. (+1)

The organization with perfect and I was never confused with the jumps in time. (+1)

The characters were lovable and when through a lot of development. I did have a slight issue with the main character, Avery, only because I had a little trouble relating to her. (+.5)

My favorite part was definitely the ending when everything came together.

My least favorite part was my lack of relationship with the main character.

If you liked Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owns, I would definitely give this one a shot. If you are also looking for a historical fiction that takes place in the US, then I would check this out as well.

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