Before We Were Yours - Lisa Wingate

Before We Were Yours

By Lisa Wingate

  • Release Date: 2017-06-06
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 5,217 Ratings

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THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT—Over two million copies sold! A New York TimesUSA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller

“Poignant, engrossing.”—People • “Lisa Wingate takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nation’s history and weaves a tale of enduring power.”—Paula McLain

Memphis, 1939. 
Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

Publishers Weekly’s #3 Longest-Running Bestseller of 2017  Winner of the Southern Book Prize  If All Arkansas Read the Same Book Selection

This edition includes a new essay by the author about shantyboat life.


  • Love it

    By Ched2016
    This book was amazing and it shocked me also it’s a must read for sure
  • A complete WASTE

    By k!lllllllkdkfkfmvm
    Had to stop torturing myself and gave up reading early in the book. Cannot believe I paid for this! If you’re considering buying this - DON’T.
  • Before We Were Yours

    By GailCrosby
    I really enjoyed this book based on a true story of poverty, abuse, family secrets and love. I read it for bookclub and glad that I did.
  • Before we were yours

    By Bandini8
    This was one of the best books I have read in a long time. Every page was captivating. I couldn’t put it down.
  • Before We Were Yours

    By Nifty Nine
    This book captivated me. The horrors of the children were just unimaginable, but the entwined story of mystery and romance kept me glued to it. I read it at the beach! A perfect vacation book because I could read for hours and hours!
  • River Gypsies

    By junefrazier-creedon
    This book is captivating with a mystery at every turn. The fact that it is Historical fiction tells the tale of the River Gypsies who lived on the river during the depression. They had no property to live on so they moved to the River and literally lived on the water in a shanty. I learned about a culture I never knew existed. Multiple orphanages in the black market and how it affected so many lives. This was definitely a good read.
  • Couldn’t stop listening!

    By hagendesigns
    A great story! A perfect example of what storytelling should be all about.
  • Before we were yours ...Lisa Wingate

    By Carol reads
    Terrific read. Hard to finish as the book is based on a true story and it’s hard to leave the characters.
  • Before we were yours

    By judylandis
    Very mixed up and way to many characters in this. I will try to get my money back from my Apple Acct For my iPad reading this week. Had no understanding and I felt it was a mess. I night 4 books in two weeks and loved them all. i hope apple will refund this one book.
  • Couldn’t put it down!

    By Momofigs
    This isn’t my normal go to thriller but it was recommended to me. The book goes back and forth between time lines telling stories. I thought this would bother me but I loved it! Couldn’t wait to get back to each story and find out what happens next. The stories have mystery, adventure, love and also pulled at my heart strings. There was never a dull moment in this book as I was always wanting to know what happened next.