Before We Were Yours: A Novel by Lisa Wingate is a poignant and riveting story about children who are ruthlessly taken away from their parents, either through cunning or kidnapping, and placed for adoption for a huge price.
It is Memphis, 1939, and twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four siblings are living an idyllic life in their family’s Mississippi River shanty boat. One stormy night, while their father rushes their mother to the hospital, strangers come in and take the children away. They are thrown into a Children’s Home Society orphanage, a place they have never known and a place so far from home. While the ruthless director assures them that all will be well and that they will soon be back home, Rill fears for the worst as she struggles to keep her brother and sisters together. The danger is imminent and the uncertainty invading their minds.
In modern day, Aiken, South Carolina, a federal prosecutor, Avery Stafford, is at the height of her success and looking forward to an enviable wedding when she returns home to help her ailing father. A chance encounter leaves her troubled with unanswered questions and she knows she can’t have peace without digging to the bottom of what troubles her mind. She begins to dig into her family’s history and what she discovers might just destroy her. But is she ready for the journey that must be made and the choices that lead to healing, not only for her, but for others?
This is an engrossing and utterly entertaining narrative that grabs the reader’s attention from the very first page and never let go. The writing is gorgeous and it has an irresistible appeal to the human sentiments of compassion. Lisa Wingate takes a delicate topic and weaves a tale around it that completely absorbs the reader, inspiring powerful emotions. She makes readers hate the villains of her story while rooting for its heroes. This is a real page-turner, balanced and deftly written.