A Book Review On “Before We Were Yours”, by Lisa Wingate

“Before We Were Yours”, by Lisa Wingate, had an outstanding plot, was well written, and full of suspense.

It was based off of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis, ran by Georgia Tann. The Tennessee Children’s Home Society was a real place where poor children were abducted and sent to the home, or Georgia Tann scammed new mothers, that were sedated in the hospital after giving birth, to sign their new baby away, by claiming the baby passed.

This book is based off of this scandal, but the story in itself was fiction. It sheds light on true events that really happened in the past. Georgia Tann made millions by kidnapping children, that were even in loving families, to put them up for adoption, and charge adoption fees. The children were neglected, malnourished, physically and sexually abused. Georgia Tann passed away of ovarian cancer, in time to escape the justice that was being served to her. This really happened from the 1920’s through 1950.

The story is told from two different perspectives. The first perspective took place in modern day. It was told by Avery Stafford, who was a successful lawyer in her early 30’s. She came from a well off political family.  Her Grandma Judy Stafford was one of these children that were adopted and kidnapped. Her Grandma kept it a secret from the family.

While at a nursing home campaigning, a resident of the nursing home stole her bracelet that her Grandma gave to her, and this resident acted like she knew her, and recognized her. Avery went to her room and saw a picture of her Grandma, with this lady named “May”. Avery noticed that “May” resembled her families facial features.

They are in fact related, and May is related closely related to her Grandma as well.  But how? Read this touching book, and you will find out.

The other side of the story is told by “May Crandall”. May is her adopted name and her birth name was Rill Foss.

Rill Foss is the oldest of 3. She had 2 sisters, and a brother. Her Mom was going into labor with twins as the story starts. Her Mom had to go to the hospital to deliver the twins. She was told her babies were dead. Is that the truth though?

They lived on the river, since the great depression hit. They were poor but the children were loved and taken care of.

While she was in the hospital, the “Police” came and took the children to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. The children were left at home, on the shanty boat.

All the children were adopted out. You can read how this effected the future for everyone. Most of them were separated.

The story has plenty of suspense as it unravels how everyone is related, and how they all found each other after being adopted into different homes and separated. The is also a little love story with Avery, she is engaged but still has cold feet. She meets Trent whose Grandpa helped the lost children in this story reunite, who in turn helped Avery find her connection to all these lost children, including her Grandma, and her Grandma’s secret that was kept for generations. She has feelings for Trent but who does she choose, and does she keep her engagement? Trent’s Grandfather was also adopted, and the family secretly knows him from the Tennessee Children’s society.

Read this book, and see the miracles unravel. This book is about uniting what was once a secreat. This book was close to my heart because I found out that I had an adopted cousin, that I never knew about through a DNA test.

You can purchase a copy here:

2 thoughts on “A Book Review On “Before We Were Yours”, by Lisa Wingate”

  1. Always interesting to see a different viewpoint! I read this for book club and didn’t care for it. I’ve definitely seen mixed reviews on this one. Thanks for the post!

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