Before we were yours is a story based on chilling real real-life events.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
This book is a story based on an actual event that took place between 1920 and 1950. Georgia Tann ran a child trafficking operation. She used the cover of the Tenessee Children’s Home Society. To anybody from the outside, it seems like she did brilliant work. She saved children from bad homes and relocated them to good homes. What actually happened was that the took the children. They used threats of legal action or they kidnapped them.
The children had to endure terrible living conditions and abuse. They were then given to wealthy parents, for a huge fee. These parents would have to pay hefty sums of money to keep the children.
The children in the book are fictional. Yet, their experiences mirror those reported by children who experienced it.
Rill Foss is the eldest of five children. Gabion, Fern, Camellia, and Lark. They live with their parents, whom she calls Queenie and Briny. Even though they don’t have much money, they are great parents. The children grow up with a lot of love.
We also meet Avery Stafford, the daughter of an influential senator. They are a well-off and well-respected family, with no skeletons in their closets… that they know of.
We hear the story from two different generations, which is nice. You get to see the story unfold in real time, from the viewpoint of Rill, one of the abducted girls. You also read it from the point of view of Avery. She discovers a deep secret about her family three generations later.
It was interesting to note the contrast between the lives of the river folk and the well-off family. The old saying that money can’t buy happiness seems to ring true in this book.
WHAT I THOUGHT
This book was hauntingly beautiful. I could not stop reading because I became so attached to the characters. I am glad that Lisa Wingate gave us a nice conclusion to the book. Otherwise, I would have worried about the characters (yes I do that). I recommend this powerful book 101%.