Julie 's Reviews > Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2018, e-book, historical-fiction, southern

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate is a 2017 Ballantine Books publication.

This is an amazing, heart wrenching story centered around the true events involving the Tennessee Children’s Home Society.

When Avery Stafford, the daughter of a prominent Senator stumbles upon the possibility her grandmother is harboring a dark family secret, she nearly becomes obsessed with her mission to uncover the truth.

The story flashes back to 1939, when Rill Foss and her siblings are snatched from their poor Mississippi Shanty boat, after their parents had to leave them behind in an emergency medical situation. They are taken to a children’s home, but before they were 'adopted' out, they endured cruel conditions and abuse.

The narrative switches back and forth between Rill and Avery, but I must confess my heart was with Rill from start to finish.

This novel pulls on the heartstrings, stirs outrage and horror, but at the end of the day the story was about familial bonds, and a spiritual connection that can not be broken, no matter what.

Wingate did a magnificent job of pulling the reader back in time, creating a realistic atmosphere, and building a fictional story around one of the most shocking black-market adoption operations in American history.

But, the real magic is creating characters we care for, cheer for, and want to champion. It may have taken a lifetime, but the truth has a way of freeing itself, exposing crimes and scandal, but it also brought out an incredible family saga that is both inspirational and heartwarming.

Avery is a central character, but she can’t compete with Rill, so the author wisely fattens up her part of the story with a little romance, which kept her character from simply becoming a means to an end. I did enjoy how the mystery unfolded, which made Avery into a bit of an amateur sleuth.

I loved the conclusion of the story, which was about a perfect as could be expected under the circumstances. It is all very bittersweet, with a lot of sadness, but there were blessed times, as well, and those are the reflections and moments that will stay with me.

There are some difficult passages in this novel, which you should be prepared for, but this is such a great story! Everyone kept telling me I needed to read this book and they were right- so I feel I should pass that advice on to you- Read this book!! You’ll be glad you did!

*For those who are unfamiliar with Georgia Tann, a Google search will give you a clear picture of her dirty deeds and how she was eventually exposed, although it was too little, too late. Shockingly, the children’s home was used by famous actresses Joan Crawford and June Allyson which is a little bit of trivia I was totally unaware of before reading the author’s notes.


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Reading Progress

November 6, 2017 – Shelved
November 6, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
January 20, 2018 – Started Reading
January 20, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
January 20, 2018 – Shelved as: e-book
January 20, 2018 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
January 20, 2018 – Shelved as: southern
January 25, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 75 (75 new)


message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

you can't have brilliant review without rill.

= )


message 2: by Jaline (new) - added it

Jaline Excellent review, Julie! This one is on my list for this year, too, and after your review, I can hardly wait to read it! :)


message 3: by Diane (new)

Diane Wallace Wonderful review, Julie! :)


message 4: by Katie (new)

Katie Terrific review, Julie. This is a book that seems to get a lot of praise here.


message 5: by Zoe (new) - added it

Zoe Mann What a wonderful review. Made me smile reading it and now I need the book!


RedemptionDenied Excellent review, Julie!


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Fantastic review 💕😊


Celia Julie, am reading for May Book Club. When I am done, I will comment more on what I am sure is a wonderful review. Its just that I don't like to read a review BEFORE I review a book myself. I tend to get reviewer's writer's block if I do. ;-)


message 9: by Holly (new)

Holly  B Amazing review Julie!


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) So so glad you loved this book, Julie. It and your review are amazing.


message 11: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Wonderful review, Julie!


message 12: by Tammy (new) - added it

Tammy Lovely review, Julie!


message 13: by Svetlana (new)

Svetlana fantastic review Julie!! I need to still read this. Got it on my kindle


message 14: by Kim (new) - added it

Kim Dyer Great review! This is on my list to read


Berit☀️✨ Julie lovely review! So glad you love the book! 😍


message 16: by Kaceey (new)

Kaceey Terrific review Julie!!😊


Julie paulie wrote: "you can't have
brilliant review
without rill.

= )"

Thanks, Paulie!! Rill was the star of the show!


Julie Kaceey wrote: "Terrific review Julie!!😊"

Thank you, Kaceey!!


Julie Berit☀️✨ wrote: "Julie lovely review! So glad you love the book! 😍"

Thank you, Berit!!


Julie Kim wrote: "Great review! This is on my list to read"

Thank you, Kim!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Julie Svetlana wrote: "fantastic review Julie!! I need to still read this. Got it on my kindle"

Thank you, Svetlana!! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it!!


Julie Tammy wrote: "Lovely review, Julie!"

Thank you, Tammy!!


Julie Meredith wrote: "Wonderful review, Julie!"

Thank you, Meredith!!


Julie Marialyce wrote: "So so glad you loved this book, Julie. It and your review are amazing."

Thank you, so much, Marialyce!!


Julie Holly wrote: "Amazing review Julie!"

Thank you, Holly!!


Julie Celia wrote: "Julie, am reading for May Book Club. When I am done, I will comment more on what I am sure is a wonderful review. Its just that I don't like to read a review BEFORE I review a book myself. I tend t..."

Thank you, Celia! I hope you enjoy the book, I am really looking forward to your thoughts on this one!


Julie Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ wrote: "Fantastic review 💕😊"

Thank you, Melissa!!


Julie RedemptionDenied wrote: "Excellent review, Julie!"

Thank you, RedemptionDenied!!


Julie Zoe wrote: "What a wonderful review. Made me smile reading it and now I need the book!"

Thank you, so much, Zoe!!


Julie Katie wrote: "Terrific review, Julie. This is a book that seems to get a lot of praise here."

Thank you, Katie!! It's an awesome story that touches people, I think.


Julie Jaline wrote: "Excellent review, Julie! This one is on my list for this year, too, and after your review, I can hardly wait to read it! :)"

Thank you, Jaline!! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this one. I think you will enjoy this one!


Julie Diane wrote: "Wonderful review, Julie! :)"

Thank you, Diane!!


message 33: by Antoinette (new) - added it

Antoinette Fantastic review, Julie. I was wondering about this book-you’ve have quelled the wondering!


message 34: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Great review for a great book!


Paula What a wonderful review, Julie. This is on my list and I’m so glad to see you enjoyed it so much. Thanks for pointing out where to find some info on the true events about Tann. I always like some background. I’ll have to get to this book soon!


Julie Antoinette wrote: "Fantastic review, Julie. I was wondering about this book-you’ve have quelled the wondering!"

Thank you, Antoinette!! This is one those rare times I classify a book as a 'must read'.


Julie Lisa wrote: "Great review for a great book!"

Thank you, Lisa!!


Julie Paula wrote: "What a wonderful review, Julie. This is on my list and I’m so glad to see you enjoyed it so much. Thanks for pointing out where to find some info on the true events about Tann. I always like some b..."

Thank you, Paula!! The real events about Tann is mind boggling. The author provides some insight into it at the end of the book.

This is really a great story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Dianne Terrific review, Julie!


message 40: by Maureen (new)

Maureen That's a great review Julie! 😄


Julie Dianne wrote: "Terrific review, Julie!"

Thank you, Dianne!!


Julie Maureen wrote: "That's a great review Julie! 😄"

Thank you, so much, Maureen!!


message 43: by Maureen (new) - added it

Maureen Awesome review, Julie!


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Excellent review, Julie!


message 45: by Lynn (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lynn Great review! You appreciated Avery a bit more than I did, but we both thought Rill was the best!


Julie Maureen wrote: "Awesome review, Julie!"

Thank you, Maureen!!


Julie Brenda wrote: "Excellent review, Julie!"

Thank you, Brenda!!


Julie Lynn wrote: "Great review! You appreciated Avery a bit more than I did, but we both thought Rill was the best!"

Thank you, Lynn!! This was Rill's show, hands down!


message 49: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen Great review, Julie! This was a great story.


Carol (Bookaria) Wonderful review, Julie! You wrote a beautiful description of the book :)
I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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