What I Loved:
Before We Were Yours tackles a terrible time in American history. The story was written so well and with such emotion that I was utterly captivated. Lisa Wingate’s writing was so impressive and it was definitely the thing I loved most about this book.
How I Felt:
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I love reading about historical events from a story-telling perspective. Before We Were Yours is a great example of why I love this genre. The Tennessee Children’s Home Society was something that I had briefly heard of, but I was able to be completely immersed in this story and learned so much about heartbreaking story.
The Characters: I found myself extremely connected to the children in this story. The main child, Rill was so determined to help her family and I just loved her. In the present part of the story, I found that I didn’t connect well with Avery, the main character. She was fine, but I was just so connected to the past portion of the story that I tended to want to get back to that.
The Writing: This story was woven together so well. I loved the way things were revealed to the reader. I appreciated the historical facts added to the story as well. At the end there is a section that discusses the historical basis for this fictional story and I was so happy to see that.
The Story: Before We Were Yours had a beautiful, sad story. With a time-jump story-line, the information given to the reader comes from both the present and the past portions of the story. I appreciated the way this story was woven and I loved that each character’s story was wrapped up by the end.
Overall: I found Before We Were Yours to be a wonderful must-read kind of book. The story was captivating and covered a terrible situation, but managed to add a heartwarming aspect.
I have quite a few content warnings for this one: Child death, reference to child molestation and potentially rape, child abduction, and child abuse.
To Read or Not To Read:
I would recommend Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate for readers that enjoy historical fiction not related to a war, but on family and a struggle to survive.
Where to Find This Book:
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate is available at these sites.
The Foss children live on a shantyboat in 1939 with their father and mother and really are loving life. They travel down the river going from town to town and love each other. On the night their mama goes into labor with their twin siblings, they are left alone during the delivery. Soon, the police arrive, round them up and take them to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage without any explanations to them about what is going on.
In present day, Avery has it all, a wonderful fiance, great career, successful family, and then, she meets May. At a nursing home, a chance encounter between May and Avery, sticks with Avery. She can’t get May out of her head. The things she said…and the fact that she said Avery’s bracelet was May’s and she stole it right off Avery’s arm! Now Avery is digging into the past and one answer leads to so many more questions. Why does May think she knows Avery, what is Avery’s grandmother hiding from her?
Before We Were Yours follows the Foss children as they are abducted and illegally taken to the orphanage and one by one sold into adoptions to other families. In present day, Avery works to understand the secrets her grandmother is hiding about her connection to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society.
Just the Facts:
- Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
- Genre: Historical Fiction
- Page Count: 368 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books
- Pub Date: May 21, 2019
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