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Before We Were Yours
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April 2018: Strong Women > Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate - 4.5 Stars

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 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 2332 comments Before We Were Yours begins in 1939 on a Mississippi River shanty boat, the Arcadia. The Foss family, parents Queenie and Briny, and their five children, Rill, Camilla, Lark, Fern and Gabion, make their lives on the boat. When birth complications require Queenie and Briny to leave the boat, things go terrifyingly wrong.

The story then switches to the present day where we meet Avery Stafford, who has returned home to help her senator father during a health crisis. While visiting her grandmother, Judy, she stumbles across an old woman named May Campbell who lives in a nursing home. May seems familiar to Avery and she sets out to find out how May and her grandmother know each other.

This book is based on the true life story of orphanage director Georgia Tann, who stole poor children, mistreated them, and placed them for adoption with wealthy clients—including Joan Crawford and June Allyson. Children were terribly abused, even killed, and then sold to the highest bidders.

While the modern day story isn't nearly as riveting as the 1939 narrative, both are necessary to bring the story fully to a conclusion. Although there were times when my eyes filled with tears, there were also times when I felt the emotional high of finding out what eventually happened to the Foss children. Lisa Wingate created vivid characters who told the story of a real life tragedy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and my local book club gave it a 5 Star rating. I would heartily recommend it and encourage everyone not to skip the author's notes at the end.

Jason Oliver | 2098 comments I didn't care for the present day story. I just willed myself through it. The 1939 story was amazing and the truth of the story. I did alot of reading online after finishing the book. The authors note really completes the story.

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Starting this one today!!

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Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments This is on my TBR but I feel like I will love this - or absolutely hate it. Which makes me nervous.

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Joi, I am 10% in and am hooked. I am listening on audio, so I am still trying to untangle all of the characters (always my challenge at the start of these audiobooks) but I definitely want to keep listening....

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Susie | 4488 comments I’m toying with whether to listen to the audio or read the book!

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments The audio narrator is good if that helps 😉

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Susie | 4488 comments It does! Thanks!

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Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments I was adopted- anyone have any opinions on if this book will make me ANGRY and full of RAGE?

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8427 comments I am half way through this book and am finding myself, like Jason, really not liking the present day story-was toying with not finishing, but after seeing the comments here I will plug away and finish it

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Joi wrote: "I was adopted- anyone have any opinions on if this book will make me ANGRY and full of RAGE?"

Hmmm...I am not sure about this one, but I am not too far into it yet. It might depend on your particular circumstances and what about adoption that triggers your anger.

As of now (and again, not too far into it) the angering parts I would think are angering to everyone. It is also incredibly heartbreaking.

I am not into it far enough to say how the biological parents or the adoptive parents are portrayed, or anything along those lines.

message 12: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments Even the title of this triggers my rage a little- "Before we were yours" Implying the "yours" of the adopted family. Ugh. Like adopted kids would be no one if their adopted parents hand't "saved them". But I should be more lenient considering most people don't have the same knowledge on the subject- both lived, and researched/through friends whantot. There are still a LOT of "adoption-gone-wrong" stories- that doesn't really bother me. The assumptions of what an adopted person thinks/feels/whatnot is what bothers me. Which I'm sure no one can tell me if I will love or hate this book. Lol.

Maybe I'll end up Hate-reading this.

Jason Oliver | 2098 comments Joi, this more of an injustice story (kidnapping and mistreatment separation from family) than an actual adoption story, though there is that too. Like I stated before, I enjoyed the book more for learning about events that truely happened than the whole story.

So my guess, and only a guess, it wouldn't bother you on the adoption front, but only a guess. The title, Before We Were Yours, speaks more of how the kids were someone else and had a life and a family before. That's how I interpreted it.

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Joi wrote: "Even the title of this triggers my rage a little- "Before we were yours" Implying the "yours" of the adopted family. Ugh. Like adopted kids would be no one if their adopted parents hand't "saved th..."

I'll be honest, I listened to more of this today and it is not going in the direction I thought it was at all! I honestly don't know much about it (honestly? I really thought it was a WWII historical fiction before I started reading. Shows what I know).

But yeah, you may be a little too close to the topic to really enjoy it if just the title sends you into a rage! lol

A very good friend of mine is traveling abroad this week to meet and come home with her adopted son! We had a very long conversation the other day about all the things that people say about adoption that send her over the edge.

She gets very upset when people say "how lucky" this little boy is to be adopted by her; he was given up for who knows what reasons and has been living for 4 years in a rural orphanage. She fails to see how any of that is "lucky." I try to remind her that people are not as educated on the subject of adoption as she is and, while they may not be saying the right thing, they are trying to express support and love for her and her new son. But that this is her opportunity to educate others.

It also drives her crazy when people assume he will speak English. Like the children in these orphanages have been taught English on the off chance that English-speaking parents will adopt them. I get irate about this one with her though! lol. That does seem like a very privileged, America-centric viewpoint to come from.

I admit though that I have learned a lot from her! And cannot wait to meet her new son.

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