Before We Were Yours - Lisa Wingate

Before We Were Yours

By Lisa Wingate

  • Release Date: 2017-06-06
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 1,124 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • For readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale comes a “thought-provoking [and] complex tale about two families, two generations apart . . . based on a notorious true-life scandal.”*

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.

*Library Journal

Praise for Before We Were Yours

“A [story] of a family lost and found . . . a poignant, engrossing tale about sibling love and the toll of secrets.” People

“Sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year. . . . Wingate is a master-storyteller, and you’ll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tann’s legacy.” Parade

“One of the year’s best books . . . It is impossible not to get swept up in this near-perfect novel.” The Huffington Post

“Lisa Wingate takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nation’s history and weaves a tale of enduring power.” —Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of Circling the Sun

Free Download OR Reading Online


  • Disappointing

    By Hankanon
    I wanted to love this book and really looked forward to reading it.... but I was sorely disappointed. The book is told from two points of view, through Rill Foss, one of the children affected by the adoption scandal and her siblings and in the present day through Avery (a descendent) who stumbles upon a family secret and struggles to solve the puzzle. We could have done without Avery, boring boring boring.... Rill’s family story was tragic yet the ending was all wrapped up in a sickly sweet happy ending.... the truth of this national disgrace is cheapened by the simplistic writing and clumsy plot...
  • Before we were your,s

    By mart Jane
    A great book
  • Before We Were Yours

    By GreatGma2
    This book was so intriguing I could not put it down until I finished it! It was recommended to me by my sister! I am aware that this kind of thing happened years ago and really not so sure it doesn't still go on today! It is so sad! Human trafficking is a similar problem today! I am from a large family and I myself have 18 grandchildren and 4 great grands. I can't imagine losing one of them to either of these situations! I enjoyed reading this book and will now read others by this author! Thank you! Vivian Roffey East Peoria Il
  • 🎀😍💖🤞🏻👌🏻

    By Ignite (xxvexatious)
    Didn’t read it yet but I’ve bought the hardcover book and read the description and first page. By reading this I could already tell the book is outstanding as I hear the main character’s voice coming out of the book in my mind. From what I can tell the book is based on a story of children’s adoption and how the main character’s story or adventure began.
  • Wonderfully written book about a very sad story.

    By Mel WS
    I’m good read! I just can’t believe this actually happened. Just horrible. The book keeps you guessing and wanting more. I enjoyed it.
  • Amazing Read

    By Pureascrystal
    I never write reviews but HAD to write one for this amazing book. I read a lot and this book has become one of my favorites instantly. It is a beautiful story inspired by the truth that shows honor for the families and children while really keeping the reader engaged.
  • Best book ever

    By darlamarie714
    There are no words to describe how great this book is. I’ve read 100 books this year and this stands out as the best one by far. I want to read everything by this writer. The story was heartbreaking and I cried during parts but the beautiful writing glides you through it.
  • Before We Were Yours

    By 📚❤️
    Great story! Read it in 2 days. Couldn’t put it down!
  • One of my favorites!!!

    By chloen3
    I couldn’t put it down. It was finished within a week
  • A page turner!

    By njmobile
    Not only is this book based on a real historic event it is a page turner that I thoroughly enjoyed!