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Before We Were Yours
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Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours teaches us about one of America's real-life scandals. Georgia Tann was the director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, who kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country. In the year 1939, Rill Foss is a twelve-year-old river gypsy who lives on a Mississippi River shanty boat with her parents and four younger siblings. When an emergency takes their parents to the hospital, strangers take the children from their world and place them into an orphanage.

Throughout this story, a tale is told about the wealthy, politically savvy Stafford family. It is through the work of Avery Stafford, the daughter of a senator and granddaughter of a woman suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s that the story is woven together with Rill’s story. The chapters alternate between Rill's telling and Avery’s resolve to find out what it was that drove her grandmother to be so secretive. As Avery discovers the truth, the story of the Flosses is uncovered.

The author takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nation’s history and tells a story of most compelling power. That someone like Georgia Tann and her Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society could actually exist is shocking. Countless lives of children were affected, stealing their pasts and changing their futures.

Before We Were Yours is a gripping story about two families, and the secrets that surround them. Beautifully told, this novel will stay with you long after the last page.

 
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6.012 Patron-Generated Content

04/27/2011
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